The Telegraph
Saturday , February 16 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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One dead in closed garden

Alipurduar, Feb. 15: A resident of the closed Dalmore Tea Estate died last night taking the death toll in the garden to 26 in the past six months.

Kumar Khural, 54, of Ghumti Line, died from suspected liver problems.

Workers said that in January, Khural’s family members had written to the block development officer of Madarihat requesting him to arrange for treatment. A team of doctors visited the garden after that and sent Khural to the Birpara General Hospital, 5km away. He was later shifted to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital in Siliguri.

“He was in the NBMCH for two weeks and was being treated for liver problems. He was discharged but his condition deteriorated a few days ago. We did not get any help from the government. Last month, we got Rs 240 from the administration. We had to pay for the treatment at NBMCH,” Khural’s daughter Jina said.

His son Dipesh is a garden worker.

Block medical officer of health Debojyoti Chakrabarty said: “He had been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis, stage IV. We paid for the treatment at the NBMCH. Medical camps are held in the garden three times a week, twice by NGOs and once by the block health department”

The estate, 70km from here, has 1,123 labourers.

The garden is shut since July 29, 2012. Since then four meetings have been held but they yielded no results.

“The condition of Dalmore has become serious. If the state does not interfere immediately, it will become critical,” said Gopal Pradhan, a district committee member of the Dooars Cha Bagan Worker’s Union backed by the RSP.

A local social worker said five garden residents require hospitalisation.

“We are worried as four meetings have failed. We are trying our best to reopen the garden.” said Jalpaiguri district magistrate Smaraki Mahapatro.