Venue shift for filigree hub

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  • Published 10.06.14

Cuttack, June 9: The site of the state government’s silver filigree centre at Tulasipur Revenue Colony has been shifted to another location to facilitate the integrated sanitation project carried out by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

The government had conceived the project to develop the silver filigree craft of Cuttack with facilities such as training centre, testing laboratory and sales outlet.

The district administration has identified another place in the surrounding area of the Netaji Birthplace Museum, which the tourism department plans to transform into an amusement and recreational zone.

“Requirement for the JICA project involving separate drainage and sewerage systems came in the way of providing land for the centre, which was supposed to get a zone at Tulasipur. Now, we will set up this in the surrounding area of Netaji Birthplace Museum,” Cuttack collector Girish S.N. said today.

Establishment of the centre was included as a project in the state handicraft, handloom & textile department’s plan in 2013.

“Sufficient land would be available if the filigree project is dovetailed with the destination tourism project under way in the surrounding area of the museum. The proposal is already under consideration of the culture department,” Girish said.

He said the centre was planned to link silver filigree with tourism and give fillip to the art form.

Official sources said the project was conceived under the Union government’s circuit development scheme. It was planned that both the central and state governments would be involved in the execution of the project.

The Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) was expected to link the centre with tourism sector, and central government funds of Rs 1 crore was planned to be used under the scheme to give shape to the project.

Billed as a major initiative to boost the Cuttack tarkashi (silver filigree) art form, the project involves identification of traditional artisans, bringing them under one roof and setting up infrastructure for live demonstration of intricate method in the filigree work with a product sale facility.

“Though Cuttack is the stronghold of silver filigree, lack of resources and demand has been forcing the traditional craftsmen to go for other jobs. The proposed silver filigree centre would be beneficial for these artisans,” said Ajay Dey, a craftsman at Shaikh Bazar. “But, talk on the centre has been on for some years now. No tangible progress has been made yet,” he added.

Official sources said the project was conceived over five years ago to identify the filigree potential in Cuttack and ensure that the artisans did not quit the profession. An official survey had revealed that most of the silver filigree artisans wanted to sustain their skills provided it offered them benefit.