By The New Paper, 05 August 2017 at 06:00 am
A file photo of people walking along a path at Happy Valley Tea Garden during an indefinite strike in Darjeeling.
Picture posted by The Himalayan Times on 05 August 2017 at 3:23 am
DARJEELING, INDIA: The world faces a shortage of the prized Darjeeling tea because of deadly unrest in the idyllic Indian Himalayan foothills, where it is grown.
The June-August harvest season normally provides the bulk of the nearly 8 million kg of tea sold a year.
But with a showdown between native Gurkhas, who provide the majority of plantation workers, and the West Bengal government now 50 days old, production fell by 90 per cent in June.
Photo Credit: AFP
Picture posted by Times Now, Agencies on 04 August 2017 at 13:45 IST
Tourism has also been badly hit by the dispute, in which the main Gurkha group has halted harvesting and called for a shutdown of the tea industry.
Picture posted by Holiday Travellers - Darjeeling Tour Package
There have been predictions that prices could rise more than 20 per cent and some tea gardens could take years to recover.
"This year's harvest is lost," Mr Sanjay Mittal, director of Ambiok Tea estate, said, adding that "if the stalemate ends, we hope to return next year".
But Mr Ankit Lochan, president of the Siliguri Tea Traders Association, said that if the strike continues for another few months, "almost 50 per cent of the estates will close down for at least two to three years".
Mr Ankit Lochan, president of the Siliguri Tea Traders Association, said that if the strike continues for another few months, "almost 50 per cent of the estates will close down for at least two to three years".
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Tea Board India, the regulatory body, said only 140,000kg of tea was produced in June, a plunge from the 1.33 million kg in the same month last year.
The latest flare-up started after the government ordered Bengali lessons in state schools, angering the ethnic Gurkhas, who speak Nepali.
Supporters of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) rally as they carry bodies of protesters who were killed in clashes with security forces in Darjeeling.
“In last one month, nearly eight Gorkhaland supporters have lost their lives in police firing. The local administration is trying to hide the death toll and still claiming that only two people have died. We are going to intensify our agitation from July,” the GJM spokesperson added.
Picture posted by News18.com on 18 July 2017 at 12:33 PM IST
 Agence France Presse (AFP), The New Paper, Darjeeling unrest threatens shortage of prized tea, posted on 05 August 2017 at 06:00 am, http://www.tnp.sg/news/world/darjeeling-unrest-threatens-shortage-prized-tea
 Agence France Presse (AFP), The Himalayan Times, Darjeeling unrest threatens tea shortage, posted on 05 August 2017 at 3:23 am, https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/darjeeling-unrest-threatens-tea-shortage/