Chennai: The Stalin government has asked the Tamil Nadu Federation of Power looms association to identify 3,000 more power looms for producing sarees and dhotis meant for distribution to the public through ration cards as part of the Pongal gift hamper of the government.
The state government has already given orders for 99,56,883 dhotis and 1,26,19,004 sarees to 225 power loom weavers cooperative societies. 17,455 power looms are engaged in the production of these dhotis and sarees for executing the mega order of the state government.
T.P. Rajesh, Commissioner of Handlooms had in a letter to the Federation directed the association to identify 3,000 more power looms and to complete the work on time. The federation has been directed to identify the power looms and to send the list of looms and contact phone numbers and other contact details to the respective Assistant Directors of Handlooms in Erode, Tiruchengode, Coimbatore, and Tiruppur districts.
There was criticism from all corners when the government delayed placing orders for the production of dhotis and saris meant for Pongal gift hampers. While generally, the government places the orders in either May or June, this year it was delayed till October first week and this has led to the delay in executing the project.
Sources in the Handloom department told IANS that only 60 to 70 per cent of the production of sarees has been completed while only 45 to 50 per cent of the production of dhotis is completed. With Pongal on Sunday, almost half of the eligible will not be able to get the free dhotis from the government and 30 per cent of the women will not get sarees during the festival. This would mean that completing the order for dhotis and sarees may require a minimum of 30 days more.
It has to be seen whether any power loom cooperative society will come forward to execute the order from the government at this last moment.