The Darjeeling tea industry is staring at a loss of Rs 250 crore due to the ongoing shutdown called by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha(GJM) which entered the 26th day today.
“The second flush tea is premium tea which is mostly exported. There is no production of the tea since the shutdown started. The expected loss will be Rs 250 crore,” Darjeeling Tea Association(DTA) chairman Binod Mohan said.
He said that the second flush season will last for another week.
The variety is most sought after in the international markets and overseas buyers are very upset with the ongoing situation in the hills.
“We fear that the overseas buyers may shift to other countries to fill in the vacuum. If this continues, they might even lose interest in the Darjeeling second flush variety,” he said.
Mohan said that the industry hopes that the all-party meeting called tomorrow at Darjeeling will give relaxation to the tea gardens.
A total of 87 gardens are located in Darjeeling owned by 30 different companies producing 8.5 million kg of tea.
The workers were also in distress as there are ration supplies. They must be managing somehow, he said.