Proposed Handloom Park Yet to See Light of Day

The State Government’s ambitious Sambalpuri Ikat Handloom Park project in Bargarh district has remained confined to the pen and paper for over three years now.

In 2011, the Government had decided to set up the Park at Katapali village under Barpali block which would be the second handloom park in the country and in Asia, the first one being at Kochampalli near Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.

second-handloom-park-bargarhIn the wake of decreasing number of skilled weavers, the handloom park was aimed at teaching weaving to people of non-weaver community. Besides training the weavers on tie and dye processing, production and finishing of the products, the captive looms in the project will help them produce textiles as per market demands.

Sources said as of now, the detailed project report has not been finalised. The park, coming up in public-private partnership (PPP) mode, has acquired over 10 acres of land against a requirement of 25 acres.

The park will have 500 to 1,000 looms and employ 3,000 workers. So far, it has been registered as a society with 100 members including 45 national awardees and 55 master weavers.

While the society is required to arrange land on its own, the Centre and State Government will share other components of the `70-crore project. An inter-governmental panel had been constituted to work on the details of the project.

Official sources in the Handloom, Textiles and Handicrafts Department said the society members had submitted the draft of the final detailed project report last year and the authorities concerned had asked for certain changes which are yet to be made. “Besides, some portion of 10 acres that had been acquired for the project are disputed. It belongs to the tribals and hence, cannot be transferred. But we are trying to put the project on the fast track and it would be commissioned soon,” said a higher official of the department.

According to the Handloom Census 2009 of the Government of India, Bargarh has the biggest handloom cluster in the State. There are 35,000 weavers and allied textile workers and 12,500 looms in the district. Bargarh handloom cluster sprawls across Bargarh, Barpali, Bheden, Bhatli, Attabira, Bijepur, Padampur and Sohela blocks.

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