Nilgiri planters have urged the Tea Board and district administration to take severe action against rampant adulteration of tea in the picnic spots of the district.

“Some unscrupulous retailers are selling packet teas in the market without conforming to law. This is a serious challenge faced by the industry in marketing quality teas. It is common to see Nilgiris adulterated teas being sold at various picnic spots in the district to unwary tourists,” Mohamed Iqbal, Chairman, Nilgiri Planters’ Association (NPA) said in his presidential address at the 126th NPA Annual General Meeting.

“We appeal to the authorities concerned for strict enforcement of relevant laws and to keep a constant vigil on spurious teas marketed rampantly,” he added.

On demonetisation, he said that all employees in the plantation sector have opened bank accounts and their emoluments are now being remitted to these accounts. “However, GST, in its wake, has created quite a few problems for the industry, affecting its financial viability,” he noted.

Climate change

Observing that climate change has affected plantations, with production turning erratic due to changes in rainfall patterns coupled with attacks by pests and diseases and proliferation of weeds, he said the Tea Board has advocated having an appropriate irrigation system as a long-time solution to the issue.

“Facilitating the estates to construct check dams, ponds and revival of water bodies is necessary. However, this depends on the State government easing the laws. The Tea Board should intervene and help us get permission for using the land for construction of check dams and ponds in estates. This will greatly help in mitigating the adversity of climate change and increase the availability of water in plantations,” Iqbal said.

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