West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that the administration would take action if tea gardens are not reopened and the workers are not paid their pending bonus for 2016-17 before the Durga Puja. A tripartite meeting on the two issues will be held at Siliguri on September 21 for a final decision on the issue, she said after holding a meeting at the secretariat. “I am hopeful that they will sit together and work out a solution regarding these. If the reopening of the tea gardens and the pending bonus does not happen we will have to take some alternative action,” Banerjee told reporters.
Expelled GJM leaders Binay Tamang and Anit Thapa, Chief Secretary Malay De and minister Arup Biswas at the secretariat participated in the meeting.
On September 21, the labour commissioner, representatives of tea associations, unions and tea garden workers and garden owners would be present in the meeting, she said.
Earlier in day, De held a meeting with associations of the tea gardens and tea garden owners and he asked them to work out paying the pending bonus to the tea garden workers.
During today’s meeting with Tamang, Banerjee said she also inquired about the current situation in the Hill areas. “I want restoration of peace in the Hills, I want the common people of the Hills to live happily. I also want the well being of the students,” she said.
The CM also said that she has spoken to the Education Minister Partha Chatterjee and asked him to help students from the Hill to get admission to educational institutions both online and offline without facing any problem.
On resumption of internet services in Darjeeling area, Banerjee said that the administration would assess the situation before taking a final call in the matter. “Once the situation normalises there (in Darjeeling) we will resume the internet services. Situation has improved a lot and people have started joining work. We will conduct an assessment of the situation before taking a final decision regarding this,” she added.