Around 60 per cent of the 850-odd gardens in Assam are located in remote areas.
Industry officials also opined that the banks need to be more proactive in opening the accounts.
"Every time, they (banks) cannot consider profit and revenue to open and operate the accounts. Financial inclusion should also be an objective of the banking system and in case they find it unprofitable to open the accounts, the banks can treat it as corporate social responsibility," Raj Baroah, chairman of Aideobari Tea Estates said.
While the government has now revised the deadline, tea garden workers and estate owners alike doubt if the switchover can be met within the aforesaid time period.
"The revised target of January 5 as the last day to pay wages in cash looks unfeasible. Even if accounts are opened, these cannot be serviced, as proper infrastructure, especially telecommunications, is not in place," D N Boruah, chairperson of Lankashi Tea & Seed Estates said.
Gautam Barooah, director at Muktabari Tea Estates is also of the same view.
"Telecom connectivity and remoteness of the gardens is the biggest impediment. Besides, if workers queue up for salary withdrawal in front of an ATM or bank correspondent, the entire man-day is lost," he said.
Muktabari Tea Estates generally takes a maximum time of two hours to pay its 2,000-strong workforce in cash under normal circumstances.
Paban Singh Ghatowar, president of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha, the largest tea workers' union, has approached the state government to continue cash payments for wages till the time bank accounts for all the workers could be opened and bank facilities provided. He expects the process to take at least another two months to roll out.
Recently, following a meeting between West Bengal's chief minister Mamata Banerjee and RBI governor, Urjit Patel, payment of wages via bank transfers as well as cash has been worked out for the tea garden workers in West Bengal.
Tea garden workers get 43-45 per cent of their total wages as cash component (Rs 130-150 daily) as the plantations are required to compulsorily arrange for free foodstuff, healthcare and other benefits for the workers employed.