Gorkha Territorial Administration chief Bimal Gurung visited Ambootia tea estate to take stock of the situation after a major fire on Monday night destroyed a large portion of the estate’s factory. There has however been no report of any casualty apart from minor burns to few employees present at the factory during the fire.
Gurung assessed the fire-damaged factory and at the same time he also solaced the anxious tea workers and the management of Ambootia tea estate over such unfortunate fire incident.
Gurung told the planters that he was always with them in this hard time and all possible aids will be provided to them by the GTA. Besides this, he assured that he would also seek help from the MP fund to overcome from the unfortunate incident.
Ambootiatea estate director Anil Bansal informed that all the workers and other concerned individuals of Ambootia are upset and sorrowful following last night devastating fire that gutted the factory completely. Hence, no work was executed at the estate during the day, but Bansal was hopeful of the work to start on Wednesday.
He also informed that in the name of the Darjeeling Organic Tea Estate Pvt. Ltd, they (Ambootia) had 11 different units or divisions of the tea plantation in and around the hills. Hence, until the factory wais reconstructed and resumed in Ambootia tea estate, all the tea leaves of Ambootia tea estate will be sent to its sister plantations or factories.
Narrating the incident last night, Bansal said the tea manufacturing works were on inside the factory in the presence of around 20 staff of the factory. “The fire is believed to be originated from the dryer and instantly it engulfed the ceiling of the factory. The workers of the factory tried to douse the fire with the help of the fire extinguishers and other anti fire options but nothing was fruitful, as almost all the major parts of the factory had been devastated in the fire before the fire brigade arrived,” he stated. The fire fighters worked until 8:00am this morning to completely control the fire.
When asked by reporters if there was any involvement of workers over such incident, Bansal said that he didn’t think so since the factory is bread and butter for all the workers.
Bansal also informed this is the third time the Ambootia tea factory has been destroyed in fire. “We don’t know why but such incidents are really unfortunate,” he observed.
Notably, it was learnt that on March 2004 a factory owned by Ambootia at Munda tea plantation was gutted by fire followed by another one of their factory at Monteviot tea estate in November 2004.
Caption :- A completely damaged section of Ambootia tea estate in Kurseong.