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Centre eyes Rs 60cr jute park in Cachar

Silchar Nov. 28: The Union ministry of textiles is now in the process of setting up a Rs 60-crore jute park in Santipur under Narsingpur block, about 19km southeast of this town, in its bid to churn out an array of about 100 different eco and human-friendly products.

According to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the park, Shahid Javed Mazumdar, this is a first such facility in Assam under the Union textile ministry’s “mini mission four” initiative in the country. It is expected to start functioning by March 31 next year.

He said this jute park in Cachar would be one of the four parks that the National Jute Board had cleared earlier with the grant earmarked in the Twelfth Plan period. Of them, two are in West Bengal.

Mazumdar said the board would complete all the infrastructure arrangements to open the jute park in Cachar district by the deadline, and these will include, among others, at least 50 units of modern industrial and handicrafts goods.

Among such proposed units there would be a few establishments, which would produce biodegradable jute fashion bags, high-tech geo textiles and particleboards using jute as raw material. Apart from these much-needed articles, there would also be the units to produce textiles using handlooms such as saris, kurtas, frocks and other types of trendy clothes for marketing these in the country and abroad as the export items, Mazumdar added.

A renowned jute textiles mill and export house in the country, Gloster Jute Mills in Bengal’s Howrah district, had shown much interest in the articles to be produced in this jute park with a view to export them in bulks, he said.

The board held a seminar on Monday night here as part of its efforts to let the local businessmen and entrepreneurs in south Assam as well as adjoining Bangladesh know about the Santipur project.

Board sources claimed that the seminar was a success, and revealed that some entrepreneurs from both Bangladesh and Assam had promised to open units in the Santipur project.

One of the leading industrialists in Bangladesh, Ragib Ali, said he would try to set up some of the industrial units in the eco-jute park of Cachar which, he added, would open the vista of export possibility for local entrepreneurs as well as their fraternity in Sylhet, Moulvi Bazar and Coomilla regions in jute-producing Bangladesh.

The park would provide both permanent and temporary jobs for over 1,500 skilled youths in the state, according to the board sources. Senior officials of the eco-jute park said it would be able to produce 300 metric tonnes of the different types of the eco-friendly jute and other textiles at its initial stage, thus enabling Cachar to get international exposure.

Mazumdar said the costs of putting in place all the infrastructure requirements in the Santipur jute park would be to the tune of Rs 7.5 crore, and added that this fund would take care of raising the units and administrative buildings, electrical installations and water supply. However, he regretted that the facility of a 3km-long link road to Santipur from NH54, which the Assam government has pledged to build, is yet to be completed.

Board secretary and IAS officer Atri Bhattacharjee had recently met Assam chief secretary Naba Kumar Das in Dispur to put in a request for hastening the road construction.