Silchar: In a move to keep tea workers away from road mishaps, the Cachar district administration has urged all tea gardens of the district to avoid using commercial vehicles for the transportation of their employees.
The request came in the wake of an accident on Monday evening when at least 29 tea workers of Burthol tea garden were critically injured after an ‘overloaded’ pickup van carrying them overturned. The accident occurred on a road connecting the Burthol and Thailu tea gardens under Lakhipur assembly constituency in southern Assam’s Cachar district.
According to the injured tea workers, they were travelling to Langlacherra on Monday evening when the commercial vehicle carrying them overturned near Thailu tea garden, about 35 km from Silchar.
They alleged that the van was carrying around 40 people and that some of them managed to jump off the van when it lost control, but most of them ended up being critically injured.
As per reports, most of the injured workers were rushed to Labac hospital, except four who had relatively more serious injurious and were admitted to Silchar Medical College and Hospital after receiving first-aid.
In the official notice signed by the additional deputy commissioner of Cachar district, a copy of which is available with EastMojo, the administration urged all tea gardens of the district to avoid using commercial vehicles like trucks and tractors for transportation of their staff. The copies of the notice were also sent to Cachar police, assistant labour commissioner, Barak Cha Sramik Union’s general secretary and to the personal assistant of the Cachar deputy commissioner.
It may be noted that on May 29, Barak Cha Sramik Union, the biggest union of tea gardens in Barak Valley, had written to the Surma Valley Branch India Tea Association (SVBITA) and had urged the association to advise its members to hire passenger vehicles for commuters from the tea worker community. The letter mentioned that despite receiving earlier complaints, the association neglected the issue and that this time the matter should be treated with importance.
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Local residents of Burthol and Thailu alleged that overloaded vehicles carrying tea garden staff to their places of work is a daily occurence and said that it is no surprise when mishaps happen.
The tea workers injured in the accident are currently undergoing treatment and further updates about their condition from hospital authorities is yet to be received.
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