By Tarak SarkarSiliguri (West Bengal) [India], March 5 (ANI): Ahead of the assembly polls, the Trinamool Congress enumerated the measures it had taken for the welfare of tea workers, but other political parties contradicted these claims.
Aloke Chakraborty, Corninator, North Bengal, INTTUC, labour wing of the TMC said: "The daily wages of the tea workers have been increased from Rs 67 to Rs 202. The government has introduced Cha Sundari Project under which workers got Pucca houses. It has also provided free ration up to June 2021. The pension of Rs 1,000 under the Joy Johar Scheme for the tribal has been implemented.
However, the opposition parties in the state claimed that the state government has done nothing for tea workers.
"The hike in wages of teas workers would not benefit them. The state government yet to implement the long-pending minimum wages for them," said Saman Phatak, former Member of Parliament and CITU Darjeeling secretary.
Praveen Agarwal, president, Siliguri district committee said that the state government did not allow the Centre to work for tea workers. But if they form government in West Bengal, they would address the problems of the tea garden workers.
On the other hand, the tea garden workers expressed their disappointment, saying that political parties promise a lot before elections, but after that, they become invisible.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
The tea garden is the backbone of North Bengal's industry. It also brings natural beauty to the region.
The lush green tea fields along the slopes and the foothills of the Himalayas are a centre of attraction to people around the world. It is the largest private-sector employer with mostly woman and tribal people depends on their livelihood directly or indirectly in the industry.
North Bengal has more than 400 tea gardens in Darjeeling, Terai and Dooars region. At least five lakh people are directly or indirectly connected with the industry. But, during the past decade the tea industry has been facing a crisis. (ANI)