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About 11,31,942 workers employed in 1,585 established tea gardens in India
Friday, 12 July, 2019, 14 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
At present, there are 1,585 established tea gardens in the country. The names of the companies operating the tea gardens, as per the Baseline Survey conducted in the year 2015 by the Tea Board is given in Annexure-1.

The details of total number of permanent /temporary workers state-wise as per the Baseline Survey conducted by the Tea Board in 2015 for the organised sector in the country is given in the following table:

Serial Number

State

Permanent

Temporary

Total

1

Assam

4,00,352

2,84,302

6,84,654

2

West Bengal

2,41,144

96,172

3,37,316

3

Tripura

7,953

5,304

13,257

4

Arunachal Pradesh

141

487

628

5

Sikkim

397

0

397

6

Meghalaya

19

125

144

7

Bihar

20

40

60

8

Himachal Pradesh

55

508

563

9

Mizoram

15

50

65

10

Uttarakhand

668

948

1,616

11

Tamil Nadu

39,311

10,099

49,410

12

Kerala

33,534

7,239

40,773

13

Karnataka

2,638

421

3,059

 

All-India

7,26,247

4,05,695

11,31,942


(Source: Tea Board)

At present, 11 tea gardens are closed in the country. The main reasons for closure of these gardens are attributed to poor yield of the estates, ageing bush profile and high vacancy percentage in tea area, negligible uprooting/replanting of age-old tea bushes for years, poor garden management practices, falling quality and price realisations, overall lack of development perspective, highly debt-oriented funding strategy and ownership disputes.

The details indicating state-wise closed tea estates (TEs) and number of workers affected are given below:

Serial Number

Name of the Tea Estate

State/UT

Number of Workers affected

Permanent

Temporary

1

Dheklapara T E


West Bengal

604

200 (approximately)

2

Bundapani T E

West Bengal

1,215

68

3

Dharanipur T E

West Bengal

357

450 (approximately)

4

Redbank T E

West Bengal

888

700 (approximately)

5

Surendranagar T E

West Bengal

301

150 (approximately)

6

Madhu T E

West Bengal

947

-

7.

Panighata

West Bengal

787

-

8

Manabarrie

West Bengal

452

101

9

Peermade Tea Co Ltd - Peermade and Lonetree T E

Kerala

220

-

10

MMJ Plantations - Kottamala and Bonami T E

Kerala

375

-

11

Bonaccord

Kerala

220

-


Total

6,366

1,669

(Source: Tea Board)

The following steps have been taken by the Government for the revival of the closed tea estates in the country:

(i) The Dheklapara Tea Estate was officially liquidated by the Calcutta High Court. The garden was put up for e-auction by the Calcutta High Court (official liquidator) in 2012, but no prospective buyer was available. The West Bengal has cancelled the land lease in respect of Bundapani, Redbank, Dharanipur, Surendranagar and Madhu tea estates and taken possession of the land to find out new entrepreneurs.

(ii) A committee headed by the District Magistrates (DMs) in North Bengal districts regularly monitors the welfare measures and different schemes introduced by the state government in the tea gardens.

(iii) The government of Kerala has constituted Plantation Workers’ Relief Fund in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad, Wayanad and Idukki. The fund is utilised for the relief activities such as nutritious food, study materials, notebooks, school bags and umbrellas to the children of workers in the closed gardens of the state. Medical camps are being organised and financial assistance extended for the medical treatment of deadly diseases to the labourers.

The Tea Board under the Tea Development and Promotion Scheme is extending financial assistance to the small growers for uprooting and replanting, rejuvenation, pruning, irrigation, assistance to self-help groups (SHGs), field mechanisation, assistance to farmers’ producers’ organisations (FPOs), annual awards for SHGs and FPOs, setting up of new factories by FPOs, setting up mini factories, workshop/training, development and promotion of organic farming and organic conversion.
 
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