Siliguri, 15th September: During a press conference at Siliguri Journalists Club on Tuesday, the President of Uttarbanga Cha Sramik Adhikar Manch Raj Kumar Kashyap stated that several tea garden workers under the Siliguri sub-division are deprived of 5 kgs of rice, that they should receive under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme announced by the Government of India in March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that workers of 41 tea gardens in Matigara, Phansidewa, Naxalbari, and Kharibari block are deprived of the benefits of the aforementioned scheme. Upon consulting the State Food Department in this concern, it has been informed that only the digital cardholders are valid for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana scheme. The department mentioned that a case has been filed at the high court in this regard. New cards will be prepared once the case gets settled.
Kashyap further maintained that during the lockdown period, only migrant workers were provided with food grains under the scheme. However, they are deprived of all facilities as soon as the lockdown got over. As a result, migrant workers as well as the tea garden workers, are living under severe crisis. Therefore, he urged for a speedy solution to the problem.