Tea association urges Assam govt to ease curfew rules for leaf-carrying vehicles
The North East Tea Association (NETA) has urged the Assam government to permit vehicles transporting tea leaves to ply within the curfew hours.
In a letter to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Friday, NETA adviser, Bidyananda Barkakoty stated that over 50 percent of green tea leaves are produced by small tea growers and the green tea leaves are transported to tea factories after harvesting.
“Green leaf is perishable, and it needs to go for processing within a certain period of time from harvesting. Therefore, we hereby request you to grant permission for green leaf carrying vehicles to ply within the curfew hours – it will be enough if allowed up to 8 pm,” Barkakoty stated.
Over 50 per cent of green tea leaves are produced by small tea growers, and these green tea leaves are transported to tea factories after harvesting.
According to the ASDMA regulations issued on Thursday, movement of persons related to “manufacturing units of essential commodities” and “production units which require continuous process” are exempted from the purview of restriction on movement between 2 pm to 5 am and odd even vehicular regulation.
“Agricultural and tea garden activities shall continue with strict observance of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour,” the order stated.
It may be noted that though most tea factories are in the rural areas, some tea factories are within the 5 km radius of municipality areas.
“We also request for exemption of odd and even vehicle regulation for green leaf carrying vehicles,” the NETA adviser stated.
“Tea manufacturing is a continuous process, and it is a daily beverage of most households. Tea helps in boosting immunity. Due to the nature of the industry, the manufacturing of tea starts from early morning and continues until late night. All persons involved in the manufacturing process do not stay in factory premises,” Barkakoty stated.
“Therefore, persons working in tea factories may require movement from factory to home and vice versa during curfew hours,” he added.
(Edited by Christopher Gatphoh)
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