Sircilla weavers in dire straits; power looms being sold for scrap

The promises made by Minister Ponnam Prabhakar to ensure year-round employment for Sircilla weavers have not been realized. Frustrated with the lack of government support, many weavers are once again being forced to migrate in search of work and sell their machines.

Due to the lack of orders, around 500 power looms are already being sold for scrap. During the BRS regime, through the orders for Bathukamma sarees, there was a significant boost to the local economy. Former CM KCR provided crucial support to the beleaguered Sircilla weavers, thereby effectively reducing suicides and starvation. Over the past decade, the textile industry thrived with annual orders worth Rs. 350 crores, and the BRS government schemes and subsidies enabled the weavers to live with dignity.

However, the recent change in government has led to the cessation of Bathukamma saree orders, and around 30,000 power looms have become non-operational, leaving weavers without employment.

Electricity subsidies provided by the KCR government have also been withdrawn, with the current government imposing a heavy charge of Rs. 8.50 per unit compared to the previous Rs. 2 per unit. This has forced many textile industry workers to dismantle and sell their power looms as scrap due to unaffordable electricity bills. As a result, 500 power looms have already been sold under duress.

Moreover, out of the Rs. 350 crore due to the textile industry, only Rs. 150 crore has been released by the government. The promised yarn subsidy has not been provided, leading to dire conditions for the workers. With the stoppage of previous government schemes, the weavers’ plight has become increasingly desperate.