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Alcohol robbing lives, health of TE workers

By Staff Correspondent

DIBRUGARH, Jan 24 � An alcohol-related death at Balijan tea estate near Chabua is another testimony concerning the thriving unlawful liquor trade and its unrestricted consumption within the tea garden enclaves of Assam.

The two deaths � Lakhindra Nag and Rabi Deep due to consumption of reported adulterated chulai (fermented jaggery) at Balijan tea estate on Wednesday may be too little to drive the concerned authorities to initiate action against uncontrolled use of a range of intoxicants in tea garden areas. But the fact is intoxicants have been claiming several lives in tea gardens over the years and the health officials are aware of such alarming mortality.

The recent deaths at Balijan TE resulted after they consumed the locally prepared chulai from one of the liquor bars in Duwonia housing line of the plantation where about 180 families are settled. It is pertinent to mention here that there are about 20 liquor bars in the Duwonia housing line who regularly serve their customers. Besides, there are more than hundred houses where liquor is locally prepared for home consumption and who also sometimes make it available for commercial purpose. The local bars not only serve rice beer and chulai but also serve a range of wine to the customers who are mainly the local inhabitants and workers of the tea estate, according to Ramen Kondo, a resident of the tea estate and president of Chabua unit of All Assam Tea Tribes� Association (ATTSA).

ATTSA activists at Balijan TE told this correspondent that no health official or personnel from the Excise department had visited the Line after the incident other then the Chabua police. Meanwhile, Phulmoni Kishan, Kanta Goala and one Puja who were rushed to Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) after consuming the reported adulterated chulai are said to have been recuperating.

Similar incidents had occurred at Lakhribam tea estate, a division of Tingkhong tea estate of the district in April, 2006 where some nine workers lost their lives.

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Alcohol robbing lives, health of TE workers

DIBRUGARH, Jan 24 � An alcohol-related death at Balijan tea estate near Chabua is another testimony concerning the thriving unlawful liquor trade and its unrestricted consumption within the tea garden enclaves of Assam.

The two deaths � Lakhindra Nag and Rabi Deep due to consumption of reported adulterated chulai (fermented jaggery) at Balijan tea estate on Wednesday may be too little to drive the concerned authorities to initiate action against uncontrolled use of a range of intoxicants in tea garden areas. But the fact is intoxicants have been claiming several lives in tea gardens over the years and the health officials are aware of such alarming mortality.

The recent deaths at Balijan TE resulted after they consumed the locally prepared chulai from one of the liquor bars in Duwonia housing line of the plantation where about 180 families are settled. It is pertinent to mention here that there are about 20 liquor bars in the Duwonia housing line who regularly serve their customers. Besides, there are more than hundred houses where liquor is locally prepared for home consumption and who also sometimes make it available for commercial purpose. The local bars not only serve rice beer and chulai but also serve a range of wine to the customers who are mainly the local inhabitants and workers of the tea estate, according to Ramen Kondo, a resident of the tea estate and president of Chabua unit of All Assam Tea Tribes� Association (ATTSA).

ATTSA activists at Balijan TE told this correspondent that no health official or personnel from the Excise department had visited the Line after the incident other then the Chabua police. Meanwhile, Phulmoni Kishan, Kanta Goala and one Puja who were rushed to Assam Medical College and Hospital (AMCH) after consuming the reported adulterated chulai are said to have been recuperating.

Similar incidents had occurred at Lakhribam tea estate, a division of Tingkhong tea estate of the district in April, 2006 where some nine workers lost their lives.

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