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Some gardens facing gas shortage, says ABITA


DIBRUGARH, June 8 - Frequent and large volume of gas pressure fluctuations in the tea factories of Doomdooma area of Tinsukia district in the aftermath of the Baghjan Well Blowout incident, is affecting the tea sector.

The tea factories had incurred losses due to the unexpected halt in the gas supply recently but despite its restoration, the unsteady supply is reportedly affecting the tea manufacturing units severely. Tea estates require a minimum operating pressure of 2.5-3 kgs/square centimetre at all times to run its factories.

�If the situation persists, the tea estates will be compelled to abstain from employing temporary workers. The affected gardens employ about 7500 temporary workers and any attempt to withdraw this category of workers would mean giving rise to humanitarian crisis besides law-and-order problem,� Madhurjya Barooah, secretary, ABITA, Zone 1 told this newspaper.

Fearing losses due to the prevailing situation, the Assam Branch Indian Tea Association (ABITA), Zone 1 has asked the authority to consider invocation of provisions of the Assam Essential Services Maintenance Act to restore normalcy in supply of gas to tea gardens.

In a letter to the district authority in Tinsukia, the tea planters� body further urged upon the district authorities in Tinsukia to restart supply of gas to the Doomdooma grid gardens from the gas producing wells of Oil India Ltd in Dhakuwal area which were closed down allegedly by protesters and have remained shut since May 29.

To minimize the pressure fluctuation, ensure stability and to maintain enough pressure in the supply network, the tea planters� association has also asked the authorities to direct OIL to immediately commence supply of gas to the tea gardens of Doomdooma gas grid from alternate sources such as Digboi and Dirak gas fields and to ask OIL to immediately activate the Tippuk supply line, which has been closed since December, 2019.

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