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Tea workers protest against alleged land sales in Dibrugarh

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HT Correspondent

DIBRUGARH, July 10: Tea garden workers across Upper Assam, including Dibrugarh under the banner of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), staged an hour-long protest in various tea gardens on Wednesday over the alleged sale of tea garden lands for commercial purposes.

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Former Union DoNER Minister and ACMS president Paban Singh Ghatowar led the protest at Bokpara Tea Estate in Dibrugarh, chanting slogans alongside tea garden workers against the sale of tea garden lands.

Ghatowar stated that the sale of tea garden lands for non-agricultural activities and the uprooting of tea plants would not be tolerated. He emphasised that tea workers rely on these gardens for their sustenance and livelihoods, questioning where they would go if tea plants and gardens were no longer there.

Ghatowar mentioned that he has raised the issue with the Central government, state government, and tea garden owners.

He also called for the reconstruction of dilapidated tea workers’ quarters, improved housing facilities, access to drinking water for garden workers, and enhancements to tea garden hospitals with more doctors, nurses, staff, and medicines.

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Furthermore, Ghatowar advocated for gratuity and provident fund benefits for retired tea garden employees, as well as timely promotions for tea garden staff.

Nabin Chandra Keot, ACMS Dibrugarh secretary and central vice president, stated, “We have staged a protest with our 11-point charter of demands. Our primary demand is an increase in the wages of garden workers. Most of the garden quarters are in deplorable conditions, and the garden management has neglected repairs”.

“We urge the government to take necessary steps to address our demands,” he added.

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