Officials turn desperados
Racing against time to achieve the target production of Bathukamma saris, the desperate officials of the Handlooms and Textiles Department showed their anger at the smallscale powerloom units by damaging the yarn on the machines that were engaged in the manufacturing of shirting cloth
Sircilla: Racing against time to achieve the target production of Bathukamma saris, the desperate officials of the Handlooms and Textiles Department showed their anger at the small-scale powerloom units by damaging the yarn on the machines that were engaged in the manufacturing of shirting cloth.
The State government has placed Rs 280-crore order to produce 90 lakh saris totalling to 6 crore meters before the October 6, however, it js learnt that powerlooms in Sircilla so far have achieved only half their target. It may be recalled here that the government drew flak from Opposition parties for importing saris from Surat in Maharashtra after failing to achieve required sari production in Sircilla.
Against this backdrop, the officials who went to the units owned by M Ramesh and D Ashok damaged the yarn set on machines on Tuesday. The unit owners said that yarn worth around Rs 1 lakh was damaged.
Condemning the attack on powerlooms, Pantham Ravi, Powerloom Workers Union district secretary, said that this is nothing but the highhandedness of the officials. The officials do not know that these powerlooms are not ideal for looming Bathukamma saris. Moreover, there are some workers who cannot identify colour properly, so they chose to produce other variety cloth.
On the other hand, the officials contend that though the government was giving a good wage for Bathukamma saris, some units are opting to produce other cloth that does not give them a handy wage.
Speaking to The Hans India, the Assistant Director of Handlooms and Textiles V Ashok Rao said: “So far we have achieved the production of 50 lakh Bathukamma saris and we are confident of reaching the target by October 6.” When asked about using pressurising tactics, he said that they had done so to compel the unit owners to produce Bathukamma saris instead of other cloth that don’t give them a fair wage.
Although there are 30,000 powerlooms in Sircilla, it’s learnt that only 20,000-odd are fit for looming Bathukamma saris which this year have a specification of zari border. The production started with just about 500 powerlooms in June and later the number went up to 18,000.
Adding more problems to this was shortage of workers. As a result, the production took a dent, it’s learnt. Although wages for Bathukamma saris is more, some units continue to produce their regular order - polyester cloth. It may be mentioned here that government pays Rs 8.50 per meter to Asamis (unit managements) and of which Rs 4.25 goes to worker.
“It has its own reasons. There are quite a few workers who cannot identify colours as it needs a lot of concentration. This apart, not all those who migrated to other places in search of livelihood have returned to their native places.
As a result, there was a shortage of workers,” Asami Association president Konda Prathap said. He said that only units that have more than 20 powerlooms are able to make hay of the government’s benefits.