Tea garden owner asked to reopen
Tea garden authorities asked to clear dues of the workers worth Rs 5.7 crore.
Darjeeling: The authorities of Ringtong tea garden here has been asked to reopen the tea garden on Monday and clear all dues of the workers in a month.
"The owner of Ringtong tea garden has been asked to reopen the plantation tomorrow. He has also been asked to clear dues of the workers worth Rs 5.7 crore," District Magistrate of Darjeeling Soumitra Mohan said.
The dues accumulated since 1996 when the plantation was closed after a devastating fire destroyed it, officials said.
The planter Sushil Choudhury was asked to clear the dues within a month, Mohan said after meeting the officials of the tea garden and leaders of labour unions.
"The workers have been deprived of benefits like rations, wages and transportation allowances," GJM affiliated Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union president Suraj Sharma said.
Mohan said two showcause notices in 2007 and 2009 were served to the plantation owner.
The factory and other facilities of Ringtong tea garden located on the outskirts of Darjeeling were devastated by fire at the factory in 1996.