Alipurduar, 2 Nov: Alipurduar District Magistrate Surendra Kumar Meena inspected the land at various Tea Gardens in Madarihat Birpara block for the Chai Sundari housing Scheme for homeless workers in tea garden. After an on-site inspection, DM Surendra Kumar Meena said that Lankapara, Dhekalapara and Mujnai tea garden were visited on Sunday. Lankapara tg has been closed since five and a half years and Dhekalapara tg has been closed since the past 18 years.
On the same day, BDO Madarihat Sharon Tamang also inspected the area with the district magistrate. BDO Sharon Tamang said homeless tea garden workers will get houses directly under the Chai Sundari Housing Scheme.
In the last state budget, the state government announced the Chai Sundari Scheme to build houses for homeless tea workers. After Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced the Chai sundari scheme at Uttarkanya, the Alipurduar district administration has started compiling a list of tea garden workers.
According to Madarihat Birpara block administration sources, 1679 workers in Lankapara TG, 829 workers in Mujnai TG and 600 workers in Dhekalapara TG will get houses under the Chai Sundari Housing Scheme.
In addition, houses of many tea workers in tea garden areas under Madarihat-Birpara block have been destroyed in constant wild elephant attacks. For years, wild elephants have attacked, killed and left the workers homeless in tea garden but the victims are yet to be compensated. Mass unemployment caused by closed tea garden and constant elephant attacks together have lead most of the tea workers to spend their nights under tents.
The tea garden trade union said, “the Chai Sundari Awas Yojana will alleviate the plight of those workers.”
Mannalal Jain, vice-president of the Trinamool Congress Tea Garden workers’ union, said Mamata Banerjee’s plan would be a milestone in tea garden’s history. So far, only tea workers have had politics. No one thinks about them.
However, Madarihat BJP MLA Manoj Tigga said there was nothing new in it. The state government is running a housing scheme called Chai Sundari with the funds from the Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme. He added that CM Mamata Banerjee have always renamed the projects of the central government after the state government. He alleged that the funds for the Chai Sundari Project was in fact money given by the central government.