By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 15: It seems that the enforcement squads do play hide seek with the evil twins of Assam gamosa, one of the eleven items reserved by the Handloom Reservation Order under the Handloom (Research on of Articles for Production) Act, 1985.
Almost as a routine work, the deputy commissioners of the districts form enforcement squads for their respective districts on the eve of the Rongali Bihu to keep watch on entry and sales of evil twins of Assamese gamosa, chaddar and mekhala and such other reserved handloom items. Evil twins of such items are the ones that are weaved in pewerlooms, instead of handlooms. However, for reasons best known to the enforcement squads themselves, they seldom conduct raids, as though they are out to play hide and seek with people selling evil twins of gamosa right under their nose.
The enforcement squad formed in Guwahati can best be taken as a case study. The sales of gamosa reach their peak during the Rongali Bihu. The market is generally glut with gamosa – both handloom woven and their evil twins woven in powerloom. Despite the ban on sales of powerloom-woven gamosa in the State, such products from outside the State do glut the local markets, especially during the Bihu. In this Rongali Bihu season, the enforcement squad conducted raids on the evil twins of gamosa only for one day – yielding the seizure of powerloom-woven gamosa worth Rs 75,000 in Guwahati. Strangely enough, the enforcement squad itself did the vanishing act and the people selling powerloom gamosas have been doing a roaring business right under the nose of those at the helm of affairs.
Circles concerned are seemed to knit their brows as to why the enforcement squad allows people selling powerloom-woven gamosa doing business in the State. The evil development has it cascading effects. The handloom-woven gamosas can never compete with the powerloom-woven ones on the price line. The local gamosa has to face a thrashing from its evil twin in Assam even after it is protected under an Act. It seems that those at the helm of affairs in the district administration like circles officers and officials of the Handloom and Textile Department do not work in sync with each other to fight mece.
According to sources, to ascertain if the seized gamosas are of handloom or powerloom they have to be sent to the Textile Committee in Kolkata. However, the Textile Committee told the Handloom and Textile Department, Assam as its response to the samples in connection with handloom (Reservation of Articles for Production) Act, 1985 sent in 2015 that ‘there is no standard procedure to ascertain the origin of the product i.e. whether handloom, or powerloom’. The Committee returned two samples sent from Assam without conducting any test.