GUWAHATI, March 15 � The Government has directed the Deputy Commissioners to submit detailed reports on encroachment of Government land by big tea gardens and the process of settlement of land to the small tea growers will start soon, said Revenue Minister Prithibi Majhi.
Replying to a Zero Hour motion in the State Assembly, Majhi said that the small tea growers are not getting land the benefits offered by the Tea Board because of the fact that most of them do not have land pattas.
Industries and Commerce Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said that though the prices are controlled by the market needs, the Government is planning to introduce Tea Marketing Control Order on experimental basis in four districts of the state-Tinsukia, Sonitpur, Dibrugarh and Golaghat so that the small tea growers get their dues.
Bordoloi said that for the first time a survey of the small tea growers was carried out in 14 districts of the State and as per the survey, there are 76000 such small growers. But around 90 per cent of the small gardens are located on Government land and there are instances where some capitalists occupied huge plots of land in names of others to set up tea gardens.
The Minister also stressed the need for maintaining quality by the small growers and in some cases, the small tea growers used pesticides which are harmful for human consumption. Earlier, Etowa Munda and Anjan Dutta, both of Congress, referred to the problems faced by the small tea growers.