N. Anand

CHENNAI: The Commissionerate of Handlooms and Textiles will complete its diagnostic study of 15 mini textile clusters in Tamil Nadu in 30 days. The study is aimed at providing better working conditions for weavers.

Commissioner of Handlooms and Textiles M. R. Mohan told The Hindu on Friday that “out of the 25 mini textile clusters allotted for Tamil Nadu in 2006-2007, the diagnostic study for 10 has been completed by Co-optex. These mini clusters would benefit around 1,25,00 weavers. An implementing agency (Co-optex or Department of Handlooms and Textiles) would be appointed by the Centre to structure the programme.”

Central funds

As per its earlier proposal, the Centre would allot Rs. 60 lakh for each cluster. The funds would be used for creating a common facility centre, technology upgradation of handloom machines, skill upgradation of weavers, setting up of yarn bank and for providing loom accessories.

Mr. Mohan said “the 10th Plan period is over. The funds are yet to be released. In the meanwhile, the Centre is trying to adopt a new methodology to improve the working condition of the weavers. For 2007, 15 textile clusters have been identified in Tamil Nadu and each cluster would get Rs. 40 lakh.”

The diagnostic study was commenced on Thursday and be would completed within 30 days.

Benefit for weavers

“The schemes implemented so far have benefited weavers in one place, while others were left in the lurch. To have concentrated, integrated and holistic approach, the Centre came up with the concept of cluster approach to create common infrastructural facilities to benefit all,”said K. Karnan, Joint Director (Handlooms).

In its earlier proposal, Tamil Nadu was allotted three big textile clusters aimed to benefit 15,000 weavers.

The first two clusters were established in Tirunelveli and Kurunjippadi (Cuddalore) by Co-optex and in Tiruchirapalli by the Textile Committee. The diagnostic studies for these big clusters are over.

Ball bearings installed

To increase the productivity level of weavers in Nagercoil district, the Textiles department had installed ball bearings in handlooms. “Most of the weavers are in the age group of 40 to 50. They are not able to sit on the handloom for hours together. The installation of ball bearing has made their job easy by reducing their fatigue and as a result, they are earning more,” Mr. Mohan added.