Tea estates in the Nilgiris are facing shortage of essential items for their worker families.
Estates have closed the roads to the surrounding towns and villages and have stopped engaging non-resident workers. The government has allowed the estates and factories to work with only 50 per cent of their workforce.
Some estates have ration shops within their compunds for the benefit of workers and their families. After the lockdown, the supply of ration commodities have been delayed.
The workers, mostly migrants from Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar and Nepal, want the managements to allow them to go to nearby villages and towns to buy groceries and vegetables.
To prevent them from leaving the estates, the managements are arranging for essential commodities for the worker families.
“Even this is causing problems because many such items are not available in the rural areas where plantations are located. We have appealed to the local civic authorities to arrange for regular supply of vegetables in fixed-price bags as done in cities as also the groceries normally used in the workers’ kitchen,” Avataa Beverages Billimalai Estate Director G Udayakumar told Business Line.