Government will protect Manjolai tea estate workers’ welfare, livelihood, says Speaker Appavu

Published - June 11, 2024 07:15 pm IST - TIRUNELVELI

Assembly Speaker M. Appavu addresses media persons in Tirunelveli on Tuesday.

Assembly Speaker M. Appavu addresses media persons in Tirunelveli on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

The Tamil Nadu Government will take appropriate decision to protect the welfare and livelihood of Manjolai tea estate workers as Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, which is managing the tea gardens for the past 90-odd years, is about to wind up its operations in near future, Speaker M. Appavu has said.

 Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, Mr. Appavu said the continued presence of tea estate workers in the region of the Western Ghats would be good for Tamil Nadu due to information derived in the past about the presence of unlawful elements on the other side of the hills in neighbouring Kerala. Hence, the Tamil Nadu Government would take appropriate decision for protecting the welfare of the State and the workers as well.

 Instead of handing over control of the entire tea estate to the Department of Forest under the guise of protecting the tiger sanctuary, the Tamil Nadu Government would explore the possibilities of ensuring credible livelihood of the workers while acquiring the tea gardens.  “As an elected legislator from Tirunelveli district, I will take up this issue with the Chief Minister,” Mr. Appavu added.

The alleged disconnection of power and drinking water supply to the houses of the tea estate workers, who were not prepared to go on voluntary retirement as being demanded by the company, could not be accepted. “The State Government will guard the workers’ welfare,” the Speaker said.

 The district administration, while adhering to the stipulated norms, would ensure the unhindered offering of prayers by devotees at Sorimuthu Ayyanar Temple during the upcoming Aadi Amaavaasai.

 The Speaker also said the Tamil Nadu Assembly session would start on June 20, instead of June 24, in the wake of the by-election notification for Vikravandi Assembly constituency. The newly elected Vilavancode Congress MLA Tharahai Cuthbert would take oath on Wednesday (June 12).

 “The business advisory committee of the Assembly will also meet on Wednesday to finalise the number of days of the session,” Mr. Appavu said.

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