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Talks to reopen Chungtung tea garden in Bengal fail

Written by: Staff
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Siliguri, Mar 4: A tri-partite meeting to reopen the Chungtung tea garden in Darjeeling hills remained unresolved as the labour unions were not present.

Labour leader and social activist Baburman Dewan recently allegedly committed suicide recently to protest closure of the garden.

The meeting was dissolved after Joint Labour Commissioner Rabi Rasaily had preliminary talks with the Chungtung garden owners.

Mr Rasail told UNI, a tri-partite meeting to reopen the closed garden was held but ''we could not take any decision in the absence of labour unions.'' However, the owners of the garden East Indian Producers Ltd group said, the tea estate had lost its efficiency.

Representative of the group Deepak Dua said, ''Our annual production had been 10 thousand kilos, which fell to two thousands kilos. Sum of Rs 150 had to be spent to produce 1 kilo tea, whereas, it was ammounted in auction to only Rs.85.00 due to deterioration of the quality of tea. On this condition we were bound to close the garden''.

Mr Dua said, some of the labourers had allegedly sold the tea leaves to the outsiders. A complain with the local police station in this respect has been lodged.

On January 12, the garden authorities suddenly put a notice of ''suspension of work''. Thereafter over 630 labourers were rendered jobless.

UNI

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