Bhopal,10 May:Plucking of Tendu leaves has begun in western parts of Madhya Pradesh while in some regions plucking work is likely to begin in the third week of the current month. According to information received from Laghu Vanopaj Sangh headquarter, so far 42 thousand standard bags of Tendu leaves have been collected. It may be mentioned that this year more than 80 percent Tendu leaves have been disposed of in advance.
The Chief Minister, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan has already announced to fix the collection rate of Tendu leaves at Rs 550 per standard bag or Rs 55 per ten per ten bundles of Tendu leaves. These rates were Rs 450 per standard bag last year. In this way, a 22 percent increase has been effected in the rates which would directly benefit lakhs of forest dwellers engaged in Tendu leaf plucking.
Meanwhile, Forest Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah has reviewed the preparations for Tendu leaves collection work. He has issued clear-cut instructions to officers of the department as well Laghu Vanopaj Sangh to safeguard interests of Tendu leaf collectors. He has instructed that attention should also be paid to ensure quality of Tendu leaves and it must be ensured that every bundle contains 50 leaves of good quality. Large-scale training arrangements have been made for Tendu leaf collection work at the district union level. The forest officers have been asked to undertake intensive tours.
In the meantime, advance disposal of 20 lakh 60 thousand standard bags of 763 out of 937 lots of Tendu leaf collection year 2008 has already been made. These leaves would be made available to buyers directly from the sale centres. Now four lakh 11 thousand standard bags of Tendu leaves from174 lots is yet to be purchased. After collection these bags would be stored in godowns.