Hyderabad: The state government has showered its grace on Sircilla weavers while leaving those from Pochampally, Koyyalagudem, Gadwal, Narayanpet and Puttapaka in the lurch, allege critics.
The government has launched a scheme for free distribution of 90 lakh saris for the Bathukamma festival. This would cost the government Rs 200 crore but is being planned to financially support weavers.
The government has placed an order of 60 lakh saris with Siricilla weavers and for the other 30 lakh with textile firms in Surat, Gujarat. Sircilla constituency is represented by IT minister K.T. Rama Rao.
Weavers in other parts of the state are accusing the government of neglect and partiality towards Sircilla weavers. Officials from the handloom department remain tight-lipped over the issue.
Opposition Congress leaders have alleged that this major move was made only to strengthen Mr Rama Rao’s position in Siricilla for the 2019 elections. They claimed that Sircilla weavers did not qualify as they were not handloom weavers but used power looms.
Official sources in handloom department said the government had placed the order with Sircilla weavers only because they used power looms.
The government has a huge target that could be fulfilled only through power looms that produce more saris at a lower cost in quick time.
“If we had to place an order with handloom weavers, they would produce only one sari a day on each loom. Besides, there is also the cost factor. While a sari produced on a power loom costs about Rs 222, it costs about Rs 450 if it is handloom,” the sources added.
Initially, the entire order of 90 lakh saris was placed with Sircilla weavers. After they expressed their inability to produce saris in such large numbers by September, the government diverted the order of 30 lakh saris to textile firms in Surat. The state has 49,112 power looms of which 24,000 are in Sircilla alone....