* Imitation Chi-made orments, powerloom gamosas flooding markets
* CM’s promised departmental squads yet to materialise on ground
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 5: Come Rongali Bihu and the people of Assam go on a marketing spree. Besides mekhela chadors and gamosas, the demand for items such as gaam kharu, kopou phool, doog-doogi, golpota, jonbiri, dhol-maduli and other orments used in Bihu dance, reaches its peak during the spring festive season.
Taking advantage of this high demand, a section of unscrupulous traders all over the State, including Guwahati, sell Chinese made products by branding these as indigenously made. Items like powerloom mekhela chadors, gamosas, gaam kharu, kopou phool, doog-doogi, golpota, jonbiri and dhol-maduli made in Chi and states like UP and Gujarat, are now flooding the markets in the State.
Sources said these smuggled items are priced much lower than the traditiolly made Assamese items.
“Chi-made gaam kharu, kopou phool, doog-doogi, golpota, jonbiri and dhol-maduli are smuggled by unscrupulous traders to Fancy Bazar in Guwahati through their agents based in Myanmar. Most of these items are of very low quality but attractive in design. But buyers who are ignorant of the genuineness of the products, prefer to buy these items,” sources said.
Sources further said, “Lack of regulator and monitoring system has led to a flourishing trade of these imported and smuggled Bihu related items in the State.”
For example, an indigenously made gaam kharu costs Rs 150 to Rs 200 per pair but a smuggled Chi made gaam kharu costs only Rs 30 to Rs 40 per pair. The Chi made duplicate kopou phool costs Rs 8 to Rs 10 per piece but the indigenously made item costs around Rs 20 to Rs 25. Similary, costs of other such indigenous items are much more than the Chi made products.
Meanwhile, powerloom gamosas made in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are now flooding markets across the State. These items are being brought into the State clandestinely by a section of traders intent in making huge profits. The trading of imported powerloom gamosas poses a threat to the traditiol handloom-woven Assamese gamosa.
According to a law under the Union Ministry of Textiles, the Assamese mekhela chador, Bodo dakha, Manipuri mekhela and Assamese gamosa are reserved items exclusively in the handloom sector, and these cannot be manufactured through powerloom.
The traders who are facing difficulty in selling the indigenous items said that no departmental squads have yet been activated by the State government to keep an eye on sale of such powerloom gamosas, claiming these to be made in the State.
Recently, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announced that departmental squads will keep tabs on such illegal trade. But this is yet another of Gogoi’s announcements on paper, with nothing happening on the ground. State government advertisements in leading dailies are now warning of legal action against those preparing and selling powerloom gamosas in the State. But with just a week to go for Rongali Bihu, it is highly doubtful whether the government can effectively implement the law against powerloom gamosas.