Govt. to train locals in granite cutting and polishing
The granite industry in Chamarajanagar is set to get a fillip with the government set to establish a centre to impart training in granite cutting and polishing to meet the industry’s demand for skilled labour force.
The district is known for black granites and has about 50 granite quarries and 12 granite cutting and polishing industrial units. But its expansion and growth is hampered by lack of skilled labour to address which a training institute will be established in Chamarajanagar.
“At present the labour requirement is met by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Odisha and other States and in the absence of skill development centre, the local youth are not gainfully employed. The new initiative will not only provide skilled labour for the granite industry but will also address the local unemployment issue besides abetting the growth of the sector’’, said M.R.Ravi, Deputy Commissioner, Chamarajanagar district.
He told The Hindu that establishing a skill development centre and training the local youth in granite cutting and polishing can bring about a sea change in the fortunes of the region. “Just as Surat has emerged as a diamond cutting and polishing centre for the world, Chamarajanagar can emerge as a major hub for exporting granite which is abundant locally’’, said Mr.R avi.
There was tremendous demand for black polished granite across the world and the identified reserve in the district was not going to get exhausted anytime soon. Bulk of the tomb stone in polished black used in cemeteries in Europe isxported from Chamarajanagar and the demand outstrips supply, he added.
The authorities have already put a plan in place to launch the training and a private granite unit has agreed to lend its infrastructure to impart the programme. To start with, 240 youths selected from the local communities will be trained during 2020-21 and they will also receive a stipend during the training period which will last from 3 months to 5 months depending on the job roles.
The cost of training has been pegged at ₹81.6 lakh and the district administration has sought CSR funds from the industrial sector for the purpose. Mr. Ravi said resource persons will be drawn from the local granite industry and quarries and the programme will be further developed in association with Federation of Indian Granite Industries Association, Jaipur and, other professional bodies.
Job opportunities are plentiful and the take home salary of a trained worker will range from ₹15,000 to ₹ 25,000 per month, said Mr. Ravi.
Other sources said quarrying has its share of problems and issues related to environment and it needs regulation in the absence of which illegal mining was rampant. Mr. Ravi said quarrying was regulated and there was not a single quarry unit anywhere close to forests and national parks.
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