A mega handloom cluster at a cost of Rs. 70 crore has been proposed in the district by the Union Government to help weavers improve productivity and thereby increase their income generation, the Collector, Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, has said.

Participating in a weavers' grievance redressal meeting at Sundarapandiyapuram on Wednesday, the Collector, said that the cluster would benefit the areas where 25,000 handlooms were functioning. The enumeration of weavers and those involved in the weaving-related works for the cluster project was underway in the district.

The district had 65 handloom weavers' cooperative societies and 4 powerloom weavers' cooperative societies.

The weavers' cooperative societies in the district had produced 12.60 lakh dhoties and saris meant for free distribution for which the weavers had been given Rs. 630.13 lakh wages for the year 2009-10.

The weavers had got Rs. 148.05 lakh wages for making free school uniform materials. A total of 7,838 handloom weavers had got Rs. 21.66 lakh as concession on electricity, and 2,684 powerloom weavers had got Rs. 98.04 lakh power concession during the year.

A total of Rs. 22.50 lakh was distributed to the legal heirs of 36 weavers who had passed away within 60 years of age. Educational assistance of Rs. 21.01 lakh was distributed to 1,797 students of standard IX to standard XII under the Sikhsha Sahayah Yojna.

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