BAGALKOT: At a time when weavers were feeling let down with the disappointing ground situation, a slew of projects announced in the recent budget is set to infuse a new lease of life into their economic condition.A textile park is to be set up at Guledgudda in Badami, loans of over Rs 79.57 crore are to be waived, and ‘Nekarara Samman Yojana’ is to be continued, in the budget presented by Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Monday.
It was the long-pending demand of weavers that an exclusive textile park be set up to cater to the needs of over 25,000 families dependent on weaving and allied jobs. Opposition Leader and Badami MLA Siddaramaiah had made a similar promise to the electorate.To keep up the momentum, Siddaramaiah had even written to CM Yediyurappa in January, urging him to establish a textile park at Guledgudda town, to check migration and enrich the life of weavers. He had also demanded Rs 50 crore for the project.
Welcoming the announcement, Ravindra Kalaburagi, a weaver and member of Shankrambari Weavers’ Cooperative Society, said, “It will be a big boost for the weavers’ community, and provide jobs for weavers and skilled labourers. On the other hand, the government must give preference to locals while allotting space to set up power looms, instead of to outsiders. However, it will not be beneficial for small and individual weavers,” added Kalaburagi.
Guledgudda, Kamatagi, Rabkavi-Banhatti, Ilkal and parts of Hungund of Bagalkot are expected to benefit from the first such textile park in the region. MLA Siddu Savadi, chairman of Karnataka State Handloom Development Corporation, thanked the chief minister. “It was a pending demand and will help weavers. The CM has announced a loan waiver of Rs 79.57 crore for weavers, but should have given more prominence to weavers,” Savadi told TNIE.