Jajpur: The fast pace of industrialization in the district has dealt a body blow to cooperative and cottage industries in the district. An increasing number of cottage industries have shut shop leading to a spurt in unemployment, a report said.
The onslaught has almost wiped out the local spinning mills. Weavers who used to earn their livelihood by weaving clothes for people find themselves jobless. Weaver families are the worst hit as they are unable to meet the growing demand due to lack of raw materials and fixation of rates.
As many as 4,232 weavers of 2,278 families in the district have been worst hit due to this reason. As a result, six spinning mills and two textile mills in the state are lying closed for a decade. This has happened due to lack of a clear-cut policy by the state government for the protection and survival of cooperative and cottage industries in the state.
The closure of the mills has forced over 1, 22,335 weavers to depend on Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and other states for their livelihood. Things have come to such a pass that the weavers have managed to produce only 75.09 mtr of clothes during the last 11 years in 2018-19.
This has also forced the traders to depend on outside states for clothes for the growing population of people in the state. Sources said the Odisha Textile Mills at Chowdwar on the fringes of Jajpur district is lying closed since 2000. The closure of the mill has rendered over 3739 employees and labourers jobless. A case relating to the sale of the mill at Rs76 crore by IDCO is sub-judice in the Orissa High Court.
This apart, five cooperative spinning mills and a state government-owned textile mill have been closed down. The state government is trying to privatise Bargarh spinning mill, Dhenkanal spinning mill and Gopinath spinning mill in Balasore while the ones at Tirtol, Athagarh and Khurda are lying closed since 2008. The state government has initiated a process for privatization of Bhaskar Textile mill at Jharsuguda which is lying closed since 1998.
MLAs Mohan Charan Majhi, Sudhir Kumar Samal and Prafulla Kumar Samal have raised several questions on the closure and privatization of the spinning mills in the State Assembly but a clear picture is yet to emerge on their future.