On a resurrected mill rests Vidarbha’s hopes of revival

September 6th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Achalpur (Maharashtra), Sep 6 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Saturday laid the foundation stone for the resurrection of the 80-year-old Vidarbha Cotton Mill here amid hopes it would herald a new era of prosperity in Maharashtra’s once-rich Vidarbha region that fell on bad days due to a variety of reasons.The mill, closed down for the fifth time in 2003 under the dispensation of the National Textile Corporation, has been taken over by Finley Group that has resolved to complete the plant erection by April next year and start production soon after.

Alluding to the auspicious occasion of ‘Mahalakshmi Pujan’, done in the region with great gusto this day every year, Patil said that it was happy augury that Mahalakshmi (goddess of wealth) is signalling her re-entry in Vidarbha on the Mahalakshmi day.

“The cotton growers in the region that accounts for two-thirds of Maharashtra’s cotton production are distressed because of lack of irrigation and process industry but I hope the picture will change with splendid initiatives such as this,” the president said soon after arrival in the town that falls in her home district of Amravati.

Pointing out that the textile industry in the country employs a work-force of 35 million, she exhorted Union Textile Minister Shankarsinh Vaghela seated on the dais to pay heed to the district’s demand for setting up a textile park here.

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who earlier welcomed the president at the Nagpur airport and accompanied her to Achalpur, said he was sure that Vidarbha would regain its past glory with expeditious completion of the pending irrigation projects and creation of process industry in the region.

“A series of measures such as prime minister’s relief package and this year’s farm loan waiver have started showing results in the region and the situation is bound to improve soon,” the chief minister said.

The cotton mill, being resurrected by Finley Group with an investment of Rs.3.56 billion, is expected to go full steam within 18 months employing a work-force of 1,300. Operating 48,000 spindles and an assembly of 144 power-looms, it is targeting a daily production of 60,000 meters of cloth.

Maharashtra Governor S.C. Jamir, Kerala Governor R.S. Gavai, Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil and state Textile Minister Satish Chaturvedi were present besides Patil’s husband Devisingh Shekhawat.

After an overnight stay at Amravati, the president Sunday is slated to flag off an Amravati-Mumbai train and lay the foundation stone for transformation of the existing Amravati railway station in the city into a model railway station. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad will be present.

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