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Siliguri: STATE government has taken control of the closed Madhu tea estate at Kalchini in Alipurduar district by cancelling the lease of the owner.

A notice to this effect was pasted on the estate’s office by the district administration of Alipurduar. The move comes after the owner showed reluctant to reopen the tea garden despite several meetings conducted by the state labour department in the past three years.

The owners had suspended operations at Madhu tea estate in 2014 citing labour unrest. This resulted in a livelihood crisis for the 961 permanent workers and their dependent families. Starting in 2016, the state government is giving them a monthly sustenance allowance.

Trinamool leader and Alipurduar Zila Parishad head Mohan Sharma today said that with the lease of the previous owner being revoked, the state government will find out a new owner to reopen the garden. This will happen at the earliest, he maintained.

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