Siliguri: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s indefinite bandh since 13 July has seriously hit the tea industry in the region causing a whopping loss of Rs1 crore daily.
“The industry (is) incurring a loss of one crore daily and a few gardens (have) started considering closure,” secretary of the Darjeeling Tea Association Sandeep Mukherjee told the agency.
Stating that it would be difficult to produce even 50% of last year’s yield of 9.5 million kg of Darjeeling tea this year, Mukherjee said that it would also adversely affect India’s credibility in the international market.
“If we fail to supply international buyers they will shift to other countries like Nepal and China. They are not concerned about our problems,” he said.
“The industry from the beginning of this fiscal has been plagued with problems one after another and the GJM bandh is the last nail in the coffin. If the bandh is not immediately called off many gardens would have no option but to close,” he said.
Darjeeling gardens have four seasons each year; the first flush, second flush, monsoon flush and the autumn flush.
The second flush season was hit following the devastating Cyclone Aila this year which uprooted 7.5 lakh tea bushes in the hills, destroying 283 quarters and damaging around 2000 others.
“Neither the state nor the central government has yet offered any financial help for the survival of the only viable industry in Darjeeling hills,” Mukherjee said.
The GJM bandh has been called during the peak of the second flush spoiling the residual hope for the survival of the industry, he added.