Amid a grim situation that has surfaced for the tea industry due to the devastating Covid pandemic, the Tripura tea industry wants its teas to be auctioned in Bangladesh.
The state had stopped exporting its tea 56 years ago in the aftermath of the 1965 war. The tea exports took place via the Chittagong tea action centre in East Pakistan.
As per a report by PTI, tea planters in the state want to sell tea through Sreemangal tea auction centre in Bangladesh, just 10 kilometres from the state's northern border.
Tripura has an estimate of 58 tea gardens, of which 42 are individually owned, another 13 are run by cooperative societies, while three are run by the TTDC.
Moreover, nearly 3,000 small tea growers are present in the border state.
"Tripura has always had a problem of auctioning tea as there is no auction centre in the state. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has asked the Government of India to take up with Bangladesh so that planters from Tripura can auction their produce at Sreemangal, which is near the Tripura border, Chairman of the Tripura Tea Development Corporation(TTDC) Santosh Saha was quoted as saying in the PTI report.
The PTI report also mentioned, that unlike tea gardens in other states, the tea estates in Tripura were started by Indian tea entrepreneurs.
The then ruler of the state, Maharaja Birendra Kishore Manikya, had a policy of not allowing British planters to buy land in his state.