GUWAHATI: The North East Tea Association (NETA) has urged the state government to allow the movement of vehicles carrying tea leaves and workers in factories beyond the permissible timing of curfew so that the tea industry doesn’t suffer.
In Assam, curfew has been imposed from daily 2 pm to 5 am the next morning owing to the surging Covid situation.
The NETA in letters shot to the district administrations of all tea-producing districts of the state said that the move would provide relief to the tea industry.
The letter said, “The May 12 order applies only in respect of urban areas and adjacent areas within 5 km radius from the periphery of municipal corporation / municipal boards/revenue towns. However, adversely affected the production in bought leaf factories which fell within the five km radius.”
The Association said that since tea manufacturing is a continuous process and it is an essential food item and because of the nature of the industry, the manufacturing of tea starts from the early morning and carries on to late at night.
“We hereby request you to allow movement of persons working in tea factories from workplace to home during curfew hours,” the letter said.
NETA said that since green tea leaf was a perishable commodity, it needed to go for processing within a certain period of time. Exemption of odd and even vehicle restrictions for green leaf carrying vehicles was also requested.