AGARTALA: Production of rubber which has been one of the most important sources of revenue for Tripura government in the recent past, is all set to suffer due to the apathy on the part of the government.
All Tripura Rubber Growers’ Association (ATRGA) on Monday alleged the government is totally indifferent towards the genuine demands of the rubber growers.
The demands include safety of rubber plantations, roll back of forest department’s guideline over matured rubber tree felling and proper utilization of rubber trees.
“During last few years, some unexpected developments have come on the way of flourishing the production and in the coming days the production is sure to fall considerably, said ATRGA secretary Tarabhunsan Saha at a press conference here.
“Of late the growers are facing problems due to destruction of new saplings and theft of planted saplings. Some jealous people are also raising voice against the rubber cultivation”, he pointed out.
According to the rules set by the Forest Department, only 30 matured trees can be cut down at a time which is a big hindrance for re-plantation drive in the state, he said adding that the association had been demanding immediate change in the guideline.
As many as 40,000 growers are involved with rubber plantation while the yearly production is more than 30,000 MT.
During the last financial year the government had earned over Rs. 30 crores of revenue from the rubber production.
More than 55,000 hector of area have so far been cultivated and the Rubber board has set a target of covering at least 1 lakh hector in the coming years.
A rubber park is ready to be flagged off at Bodhungnagar Industrial Estate, 13 km from capital town to ensure optimum utilization of raw rubber. Two companies have already set up their factories and three more entrepreneurs have already taken plots in the rubber park.
The government needs to look at the genuine demands of the rubber growers or else the supply of raw rubber will be dwindled in the days to come, added Saha