Accepting the long standing demand, state government allowed the tea owners to use unused land of tea gardens for the purpose of construction to promote tea tourism in the state. In a cabinet decision on Thursday, the state made it very clear that the owners cannot reduce the portion of the plantation area and can only use 15% of the total area for the purpose of tourism.
Speaking to the media after the cabinet meeting, state cabinet minister Partha Chatterjee said, “It has been decided that to create more employment and without hampering the tea production, the tea garden owners can use 15% of the land for the purpose of promoting tea tourism but this 15% should not cross the upper limit of 150 acres. As a part of the promoting tourism the garden owners can make construction in 40% of this land”.
When asked what they will don in the rest of the land, the senior Trinamool Congress leader said, “The rest of the land can be used for any other purpose but they cannot make any construction”. The Trinamool veteran also made it clear that this land cannot be used for any kind of housing purpose and it should be developed keeping in mind the environment and the culture of the area.
“The garden owners should keep in mind that they cannot reduce the plantation area and cannot make any curtailment in employment. This will give a boost to the tea industry and create more employment in the area,” Chatterjee added.
The state cabinet also formed a committee with chief secretary as the chairman of the committee. There will be representatives from the tourism department, environment department and tea Board. The state department of Industry and Commerce will work a nodal agency in this new ‘Tea Tourism and Allied Industry Policy – 2019’. “The garden owners will give the proposal and the committee will look into the proposal and provide the necessary sanction,” the minister added.
Source: Times of India