Nearly 25,000 weavers of Guntur district are waiting for the textile park at Vankayalapadu village in Edlapadu mandal. Though Tamil Nadu Governor and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh K Rosaiah laid foundation for the park on October 22, 2010, the works have not started till date.
This textile park was proposed under the Union Government’s Scheme for Integrated Textile Parks (SITP) and the Andhra Pradesh Industrial and Investment Corporation (APIIC) was asked to develop the infrastructure. As many as 124 units were planned in 124 acres and `500-crore investment was expected at the park. Employment to 5,000 persons was also expected. But the plans remain on paper till date.
The Mangalagiri cotton saris and fabrics are famous for quality and recently got Geographical Index registration, said P Brahmaiah, a weaver in Mangalagiri. Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics Apex Society chairman Y Sankar Rao said manufacturing, marketing, weaving and other required skills could be developed in the park.
Another weaver P Durga Rao said, “We can get yarn, colours and others at subsidized rates from the textile park but with it turning out to be a non-starter, we are incurring losses due to high prices in the open market.”
Mangalagiri Sarees and Fabrics Apex Society secretary J Krishnamurthy said they had recently taken the issue to the notice of the State and Union Governments to take steps to acquire required land to start construction.
Additional director of handlooms and textiles N Lakshmi Naidu said the APIIC had acquired 98 acres of the 124 acres required and the process was halted as some people went to court objecting to land acquisition.
Meanwhile, the weavers in Chirala, Prakasam district are facing troubles due to the absence of a textile park. Chirala also known as China Mumbai, is providing work to nearly 60,000 weavers through 18,000 looms at Chirala, Epurupalem, Jandrapeta, Vetapalem and Pandillapalli areas.
Interestingly, foundation for a textile park here was also laid by K Rosaiah himself while he was the finance minister on August 28, 2005. The estimated cost of the project was `7.69 crore. Needless to say, not a single work has been executed.
G Mallaiah, a weaver of Epurupalem, lamented that they earn hardly `4,000 per month despite making sarees by themselves. He further said all political parties had promised direct employment through a Handloom Park.
Rashtra Cheneta Karmika Samakhya president M Mohan Rao alleged that they went running from pillar to post requesting a textile park but the State and Central governments were simply turning a deaf ear to them.
Recalling starvation deaths of weavers in Chirala, he feared the same situation would arise again.