New Delhi: Following reports of starvation deaths in closed tea gardens, a concerned Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh have taken initiatives to revive the tea gardens.
As much as 20 tea gardens were closed in Kerala, 17 in West Bengal and two in Assam.
Ramesh on Sunday said in Kolkata that he favoured revival of the gardens on the line of the Kannan Devan Hill Plantations (KDHP) in Kerala, where 30 per cent of shareholding was held by workers.
Ramesh told PTI that while several trade unions like CITU and INTUC had forwarded their proposals, he felt the KDHP model was the best for re-opening of the closed tea gardens.
He was even open to dialogues with the state governments of Kerala, West Bengal and Assam in this regard.
Ramesh said that this was a serious and humane issue and the Tea Board would like to work closely with the respective state governments for re-opening of the closed tea gardens.
Tea Board Chairman Basudeb Banerjee said the Union Cabinet had also come out with tailor-made schemes for giving relief to the ailing gardens.
He said the ultimate responsibility lay with the state governments.