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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Debpara tea estate with 1,000 workers in Jalpaiguri district abandoned by management

The management was supposed to pay us our due wages on Monday but no money was transferred to our bank accounts, said Harihar Singh Rajput, a worker of Debpara

Our Correspondent Jalpaiguri Published 24.01.24, 07:01 AM
The closed factory of Debpara tea estate in Banarhat block. 

The closed factory of Debpara tea estate in Banarhat block.  Biplab Basak

The Debpara tea estate with around 1,000 workers in Jalpaiguri district has been abandoned by the management hours after it failed to transfer wage dues to the labourers’ bank accounts.

The workers found that the garden office and the factory were closed when they arrived to join duties on Tuesday morning. The estate is in Banarhat block.

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“The management was supposed to pay us our due wages on Monday but no money was transferred to our bank accounts. Instead, the managerial staff left the garden last night without serving any notice,” said Harihar Singh Rajput, a worker of Debpara.

Sources said the garden had closed down earlier also. It reopened in June last year.

The workers said the payment of wages and salaries had been irregular for the past few months.

“Even yesterday (Monday), we had asked for the payment and the managerial employees had assured us that it would be done. We had also made it clear that if the wages were not paid, we would stop joining our duties from tomorrow (Wednesday). It is unfortunate that the management left the garden, leaving us amid uncertainties,” said another worker.

Kamalesh Singha Roy, a BJP leader of Banarhat block, said in the past few weeks, a number of tea gardens had closed down in the Dooars.

“It seems that a section of tea companies is reluctant to run the gardens during the lean season when there is no production. The state labour department should immediately intervene,” he said.

Raju Gurung, a Trinamul leader in Banarhat, said the party had informed the state labour department that Debpara had been abandoned.

“The management has left the garden without clearing the workers’ wages. This is a gross injustice to the workers. The labour department should convene a tripartite meeting immediately,” he said.

Officials of the labour department said they had not received any notice so far.

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