Our presence is needed to maintain the estates, say cardamom growers

Kerala Cardamom Growers’ Union has appealed to the Idukki Collector to relax restrictions for plantation owners in Tamil Nadu to travel to their estates across the border in Kerala.

In his petition, its secretary C. Sadhasiva Subramanian has said that a majority of the owners of cardamom plantations in Kerala resided in Cumbum in Tamil Nadu. They travelled 25 to 30 km daily to take care of their plantations at various places in Idukki district.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, both the State governments had restrictions in movement of people and vehicles. With the number of positive patients on the decline, the Tamil Nadu government had relaxed the restrictions.

Hence, the Idukki Collector may consider giving permission to the plantation owners to travel to their estates as per the discretion of officials at the checkpost. Presently they faced difficulties at the checkposts, as they were asked to produce COVID-19 negative certificate issued 48 hours prior to their travel. It was difficult to get such a certificate as vaccination centres and laboratories were crowded.

The presence of plantation owners was needed at the estates as the have to oversee watering, pruning, putting manure for the plants and the like. The workers would need guidance on these matters and they cannot take decisions as the situation demands. If right decisions were not taken at the right time, they will incur huge losses.

Mr. Sadhasiva Subramanian said that the members of their union had been inoculated against COVID-19 and assured the Collector that they would adhere to conditions and standard operating procedures mandated by the authorities.

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