Tea has become one of the unavoidable beverages in our daily life. Most of us have become a 'tea'holic as it starts our day and due to the increase in the price of the ingredients, a cup of tea would be costing Rs 12 across Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore district has been exceptional from getting the burden of paying Rs 12 for a cup of tea as most of the areas and vicinities of the district charge only Rs 5 for a cup of tea. Although most would love to prefer this tea of lower price, it's becoming inevitable to come across the question of how they can sell a cup of tea for Rs 5?
The social activist belongs to the Nilgiris district, which is popular for the tea estates, said that this low-cost tea has been prepared through contaminated tea powder. She stated that the contamination in every food product has been on the rise and contamination of tea is not new for the state but worryingly these contaminations happen with the support of the authorities of Tea board.
As fixed by the government, one kilogram of tea powder can be made from four kilograms of tea leaves. The price of tea power can be ascertained and fixed based on taste, solidity, and color. The tea powder has been manufactured through the types of Orthodox and CTC. Since Nilgiri Orthodox tea is registered with Geographical Indication(GI), it can't be able to contaminate. Hence, the CTC type has been contaminated. The Central Government has installed a Tea Board in Nilgiris with the view of considering the welfare of the farmers and to formulate the regulations for the tea manufacturers. The Tea board has been accused of not providing subsidies for the farmers.
She further stated that companies like Annur Sivasree Agri products, Mettupalayam Green earth, Madurai Omega cocofeeds, Idukki Chandra Enterprises, Palakkad ANM Green Mountain product are among the list of sixteen illegal companies. She added that Tea Board director Hariprasad has claimed that the board doesn't have the information about the accounts of the tea wastes. She revealed that through these tea wastes, the R.C. contaminated tea powder has been produced and the tea of Rs 5 has been prepared through this contaminated tea powder and by consuming the tea from contaminated tea powder, it would result in stomach ache and kidney failure.
Recently, food security authorities have blocked the truck that was transporting the tea wastes near Mettupalayam following which the authorities have discovered that the tea wastes have been transported for contamination process with the support of the Tea board authorities. Upon the issue came to the revelation, she stated that most of the authorities in Tea board have been applying to seek voluntary retirement and she urged the CBI investigation or the investigation from Director of South India Tea Board through which the reputation of Nilgiri tea won't be spoiled.
When we asked Balaji, the Director of South India Tea Board, he said that as far as Tea board is concerned, it would take stern actions against the people for wrongdoings and he asserted that the board has been probing the matter and the board has sent show-cause notice for 18 companies for producing less quality and contaminated tea powder. He added that these companies have been given one week for responding based on which the unbiased action would be taken against the companies which produced contaminated tea powders.