Darjeeling: Tea estate closed for three years set to reopen
A tea estate located in the hills in the Darjeeling sub-division that was closed for around three years will reopen on Friday.
The decision was taken at a tripartite meeting held at the office of the additional labour commissioner here on Thursday.
“The Kalej Valley Tea Estate, which had been abandoned by the management on January 1, 2019, will reopen on Friday. A tripartite meeting was held today (Thursday) where representatives of a new company that will take over the garden were present along with trade union leaders. The meeting has turned out to be a successful one,” said labour minister Becharam Manna.
Manna, who was on an official visit to north Bengal last week, had said that six-odd closed tea estates in the Dooars and in the hills would reopen soon.
The decision to reopen Kalej Valley has brought smiles on the faces of around 600 workers, who were jobless during the past three years and were struggling to make ends meet by doing odd jobs.
It was also decided that the new company would pay the entire arrear wages and salaries in three instalments, starting Saturday. The other two instalments will be paid by March and June next year, said a source.
“The gratuity dues will be cleared in six instalments by May next year. Also, as the garden reopens, the workers will be provided with a portion of the food grains they were supposed to receive in the 2015-16 fiscal,” the source added.