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30 pc slump likely in tea production in north Bengal due heavy rains
Siliguri: Heavy rains have impacted tea production in North Bengal's Terai and Dooars regions and it could come down by about 30 percent over the estimated production for the season, industry experts said.
Several tea gardens have been impacted either due to land erosion, rivers changing their course and excess rain which has prevented plants from getting an adequate amount of sun. Local said that there was heavy land erosion in the region and the tea-producing areas recorded one of their highest rainfalls.
Most of the tea plantations are along the rivers and have been impacted by the rains.
Expressing concern over the loss of production, Sumit Ghosh, secretary, North Bengal branch, Tea Association of India (TAI) said the dearth of manpower has also added to the woes of tea producers.
"The tea industry is anticipating loss. Due to natural calamities, disruption in connectivity, logistics, and an unprecedented dearth of manpower has led to a drop in productivity."
Experts estimate that northern areas of West Bengal contribute about 12.50 percent to India's tea production.
Ghosh said they were expecting help from the government due to the loss of production.
"The production was expected to be lower by around 30-35 percent during the first fortnight of the month. The tea belt has already received more than 20 inches of rainfall (508 mm) flooding the tea gardens. The rainwater was stuck in the tea garden drains which was another reason behind less production. In this situation, we are expecting financial help from the government," he said.
Kamal Kishore Tiwari, Chairman, Siliguri Tea Auction Committee also said the government should pitch in with support.
"This year we received maximum rainfall which suspended the regular works, resulting in huge damage to the tea industry. We are requesting to the government to take positive steps to save the industry." (ANI)