HAILAKANDI, June 12 - Incessant rain has led to severe damage to the Burnie Breas Tea Estate in Hailakandi district, and landslides have damaged about 80 acres of plantation area, causing permanent damage to 4 lakh tea bushes and around 200-250 shade trees.
An official of the Burnie Brease Tea Estate said vast areas of the tea garden have been inundated, causing damage to roads and three labourer quarters.
Cultivation and harvesting work have been interrupted, causing loss of around 15,000 kg of green leaf, which could not be harvested. Three RCC culverts along with eight wooden culverts have also been washed away, affecting road connectivity within the plantation area.
The official said landslides also damaged about 80 acres of the existing plantation area, causing permanent damage to 4 lakh tea bushes, and the tea garden management apprehend that this may lead to permanent loss of 1 lakh kg of tea per year.
It may be mentioned here that the tea industry of Barak valley is under a crisis, after a prolonged drought-like situation in March-April and also due to the nationwide lockdown amid the COVID-19 situation.
The tea garden has been able to start cultivation and harvesting with only 50 per cent capacity of the workforce from mid-April 2020.
The Burnie Breas Tea Estate produces around 6.5 lakh kg of made tea with its 900 workers, including casual workers. Under the prevailing distress situation, additional permanent loss of around one lakh kg made tea per annum will adversely affect the economy of this tea garden.