West Bengal Minister denies starvation deaths

Denying starvation deaths in the sick Raipur Tea Estate in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal Food and Supplies Minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, on Sunday announced steps to improve the supply of subsidised food items to workers of closed tea gardens.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Mallick, along with North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb, visited the tea garden. “There have not been any starvation deaths in the tea garden. I have talked to the family members of six workers who recently died and they told me that they were suffering from illnesses such as tuberculosis and high blood sugar,” Mr. Mallick claimed.

“We have decided to increase the quantity of wheat supplied to workers under the public distribution system from 500 gm to 750 gm per week. From now on, 125 gm of sugar per head at Rs. 13.50 a kg will be distributed to every family in the closed tea gardens,” he told The Hindu .

Mr. Deb has decided to give a compensation of Rs.5,000 to the family of those who have died. The State government has decided to appoint three “vigilance inspectors” for the “more than 20 closed tea gardens in the State” to ensure that the workers got the food items supplied by the Food Department. The government will also try to convince owners of the tea gardens to reopen them, Mr. Mallick said.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 8:23:49 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata//article60068986.ece