Hills agitation hits Darjeeling tea, no stocks for auction after July 18

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Kolkata, July 8 (IANS) Tea traders on Saturday apprehended there will be no stocks of Darjeeling tea available for auction after a scheduled sale on July 18, if supply continues getting disrupted due to the ongoing agitation in the north Bengal hills.

Amid political crisis in the hills, tea plucking in the 87 gardens in Darjeeling continues to remain suspended from June 9 and the arrival of the world-famous tea in the auction centres has also been disrupted, traders said.

“We have some stocks of Darjeeling tea which arrived before the agitation erupted. About 58,800 kg of Darjeeling tea will be on offer for the auction in sale no. 28 which is on July 12,” an official of Calcutta Tea Traders’ Association told IANS.

“About 20,000 kg will be on offer for sale 29, for which auction will be held on July 18. After that, we have no stocks,” he said.

Darjeeling Tea Association Chairman Binod Mohan has said the industry incurred a direct estimated loss of over Rs 150 crore due to the agitation.

Mohan has said that all the stakeholders, including the five lakh people residing on the tea estates, are adversely affected due to the crisis. He also warned that the disruption could result in a possible sickness and closure of several tea estates which would be difficult to revive.

–IANS

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