December 17th, 2011
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Mullaperiyar: 60 crore loss for cardamom industry

cardamomKochi: The ongoing agitations regarding the Mullaperiyar dam has adversely affected the cardamom industry in Kerala. The industry has lost nearly Rs.60 crore over the last 12 days. All activities related to the industry, including auction of cardamom and upkeep of plantations have come to a standstill. The planters from across the border refuse to even visit their plantations in Kumily.

“Cardamom auction has been stopped since December 5 and a few lorries loaded with he spice are waiting in our godown for the routes to be opened,” said PC Punnose, general manager of Kerala Cardamom Processing and Marketting Company ltd. Kumily. Incidentally nearly 60 percent of the plantations in the district are owned by natives of Tamil Nadu and cardamom is cultivated in around 33,000 hectares. The huge workforce of plantation workers from Tamil Nadu, which crosses the border everyday to Kerala, has also stopped traveling fearing violent repercussions. This has also affected the upkeep of plantations.

It is estimated that around 20,ooo workers come to the plantations in Idukki through the inter state border points of the district. 1,000 vehicles ferry them to work-sites and back everyday. The livelihood of the workers directly employed in the plantations and those in allied sectors have also been hit by the agitation.

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