SILCHAR, Oct 18 - Even as Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced that the tea gardens in the State must be given puja bonus, at the rate of 20 per cent irrespective of the estates� grade, the labourers at the closed Bhuvan Valley tea garden in Cachar district will have to wait till Diwali for their bonus.
Cachar Deputy Commissioner S Vishwanathan informed that the Bhuvan Valley tea garden management has sent a letter to the administration with a promise to give away the pending dues and wages on October 19 and disbursing the Durga Puja bonus before Kali Puja and Diwali. �We have received a letter from the garden management with the assurance of paying the pending wages before puja and disbursement of bonus before Kali Puja. We expect the management to keep its promise which it has made in writing,� Vishwanathan said.
DN Baroi, assistant general secretary of Barak Cha Sramik Union said that while, staff and labourers of 303 tea gardens in the district have received their puja bonus as per 2014 norms, the permanent staff and labourers of the Bhuvan Valley tea garden have been given Rs 1000 each from their Non Refundable Provident Fund.
On Sunday, Sports Minister Ajit Singh, MLA Lakhipur Rajdeep Goala and Baroi himself went to distribute the fund among the 477 staff members of the gardens. Singh and Goala also gave away saris and shirts to the labourers on their personal behalf.
Meanwhile, Pankaj Dhar, secretary Indian Tea Employees� Association under INTUC has demanded that the district administration must seize the defaulter tea garden and compel the management to surrender if it fails to run the garden.