Patkapara Tea Estate in the Dooars to reopen

Patkapara Tea Estate in the Dooars which was closed in November last year will be reopened on February 8.

Patkapara Tea Estate in the Dooars
Patkapara Tea Estate in the Dooars – pic via Telegraph

The decision was taken at a bipartite meeting held yesterday in the office of the Dooars branch of Indian Tea Association at Binnaguri. Trade union leaders and the management of the garden attended the meeting.

Sanjoy Bagchi, the assistant secretary of DBITA, said: “We had a bipartite meeting last evening in our office. In the meeting, we laid stress on the fact that it was mandatory for the workers to be disciplined. We also said that the garden workers should report for work on time and listen to the management.”

He added: “The workers are also expected to work for the number of hours assigned to them daily. Regarding the dues of the workers, a bipartite meeting can be held between the management and trade unions.”

Patkapara Tea Estate is 15km from Alipurduar. The garden management had issued a notice of suspension of work on November 17 last year as a section of workers in the garden were undisciplined. The garden has 1,500 permanent workers.

Provat Mukherjee, the general secretary of the NUPW union affiliated to INTUC, said: “Yesterday, we held a bipartite meeting. We had always said that it was very important that the garden re-opened as the workers were in a crisis. At least 10 people have died during the period when the tea estate was closed. It has been decided that within a couple of months, a review meeting will be held to discuss issues regarding the dues of the workers. We are happy that the garden will reopen on February 8.”

According to a garden source, the dues include gratuity and the PF payment for the workers. Rations for 22 fortnights have not been given to the workers.

The garden source said the workers would daily come to work two hours late. On November 12, a section of workers had plucked tea leaves, while the other refused to work. The workers had left the plucked leaves in front of the manager’s bungalow, while the other group had threatened the manager that if he touched the leaves, his hands would be cut off.

Source: Telegraph

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