Tea factory gutted in fire

Tea factory gutted in fire

An accidental fire gutted Quardhitlow tea factory in Koppa on Friday night. The factory has a history of six decades. The loss is estimated to be over Rs five crore. It is suspected that fire was caused due to short circuit.

The factory belongs to Coffee Grower Aroor Ramesh Rao. It is a part of Mysore Plantations Ltd. A total of 13 labourers were working round the clock till recently. However, as the tea season was over, the work in the factory had been suspended for the last few days. Hence, there was no casualty in the incident.

The incident occurred when Rao was in Bangalore. The fire was noticed by a security at 11.45 pm. The fire had engulfed entire factory, although fire service personnel reached the spot within 20 minutes. Machines, boilers and fans were damaged in the mishap. A wooden roof for drying the tea is reduced to ashes. Fire tenders from Sringeri and N R Pura were pressed into service to douse the fire. Labourers from nearby estates also rushed to the venue to extinguish fire.  The office, labourers quarters and fire wood godown was not affected. 

A total of 280 labourers work in Quardhitlow tea estate. The tea is sold in the brand name of QTF across the state.

The factory was set up in 1956. It has the capacity to produce 500 tonne tea powder annually. Machineries worth Rs two crore, building worth Rs three crore and three tonne tea powder worth Rs 30 lakh have been gutted in fire.

MLA D N Jeevraj, ZP former president T D Raje Gowda, APMC President Onithota Rathnakar and others visited the factory site on Saturday.

It may be recalled that Alageshwara estate tea factory was gutted in fire four years ago in Koppa taluk.

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