TT, July 11: The chairman of the Tea Directorate, Sourav Chakraborty, today said an extensive survey would be conducted in plantations to prepare a data bank of workers and their families.
Chakraborty said in Jalpaiguri that a number of tea garden workers and their families, including girls and women, had been migrating to other states since the Left rule.
“During our survey, we will collect details about the migrants and speak to their families to find out what led to their exodus. We will also collect details like the number of workers and their families living in the gardens, particularly in closed and sick tea estates, and their health and financial status. The extent of government facilities and relief provided to each garden will also be found out during the survey,” he said.
The Alipurduar MLA said the decision to conduct the survey was taken as a number of tea estates were shut. “People are ill in the closed gardens and most of them are thriving on the relief and financial assistance provided by the state government. We have decided to launch an extensive survey soon and collect data pertaining to the tea population,” he said.
The chairman of the directorate said although over 10 tea estates were closed, the owners had not served any formal notice.
“If the gardens are not closed formally, the government cannot provide relief to the jobless workers and their families. Workers in closed estates are entitled to receive Rs 1,500 per month under FAWLOI (Financial Assistance to Workers of Locked Out Industries) scheme from the state government. Unless the management serves a notice announcing closure, the state cannot give the financial help,” he said.
Chakraborty said the data could help the directorate identify problems plaguing each tea garden and take necessary measures to solve them.