In the wake of at least eight deaths reported from North Bengal tea gardens in the last two weeks, a team of four cabinet ministers would visit six closed tea gardens in Terai and Dooars region on July 15-16.
The team comprises include Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, Food Minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb and state law minister Chandrima Bhattacharya.
Even as the locals and the tea garden workers claimed that deaths were caused by “starvation”, the government maintained the three deaths were caused due to diseases caused by “malnutrition” while three workers died of “cardiac arrest”.
After the deaths were reported, a team of Congress MLAs and another team of Left Front MLAs visited the closed tea gardens. As of now, there are six tea gardens which are closed while 23 tea gardens in the region are sick and often face closure.
The Ministers would visit tea plantations of Raipur, Surendranagar, Red Bank and Dharanipur in Jalpaiguri on July 15, while they would visit two plantations of Dheklapara and Bandapani in the Dooars the next day, said Gautam Deb. He said they would hold a meeting with district administration and management of tea gardens to discuss how tea gardens could be made operational.