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Eviction threatens livelihoods of 2,000 tea garden employees in Dolu Tea Estate

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Silchar: Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) Mangaldoi Branch general secretary Santiuse Kujur on Friday expressed his concern over the clearance of tea bushes for setting up of Green Air Field and the livelihood of the more than 2,000 odd tea garden workers of Dolu Tea Estate of Cachar. He pleaded with the State Government to ensure the tea estate workers’ employment and other rights before proceeding with the project.
Kujur expressed concern about the livelihood of tea garden workers at Dolu Tea Estate in Barak Valley, claiming that the project could not be implemented without assurance of alternative livelihood opportunities. “We are not against the proposed project but we are concerned over the loss of livelihood of the tea garden workers.” Kujur told this correspondent.
“If no alternative means of livelihood are provided, the government’s move is not acceptable.” He also expressed concern about the future of the tea garden workers’ children. “What will be the next steps in terms of their rehabilitation and employment?” he asked.
In February of this year, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that a portion of the Dolu tea garden would be used to build an airport. The government estimates that it will cost Rs 50 crore to build the airport on 2,500 bigha of tea garden land. The owner and stakeholders have allegedly agreed to proceed with the deal, but the workers are unhappy.


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