Thursday, August 13, 2009

[ Techbical Textiles - Easyly said than done.]

Photo - V SUDERSHAN
NEW DELHI: Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran on Wednesday announced a proposal to set up a unit for the manufacture of technical textiles in Coimbatore under the scheme for modernisation of the mills of the National Textiles Corporation as an exercise to showcase the potentiality of the sector for both the industry and the end-users. “Technical textiles has a huge potential, with numerous end-use applications, including health, construction, agriculture, defence, aerospace and sports. But, due to lack of adequate awareness, there was not enough demand and concurrently there was lack of trained manpower, testing facility and other such basic requirements. We want to break the vicious cycle”.

Launching a website to cater to the information needs of the various stakeholders, he said that even while the domestic market size for technical textiles was now about Rs. 37,115 crore and was expected to reach Rs. 66,414 crore by 2012, and the country had abundant availability of raw material and scientific and technical capability to cater to the requirements, the sector remained import intensive.

The country did have some indigenous production but the product range was limited to typically traditional commodities such as tarpaulin, jute carpet backing, hessian, fish nets and surgical dressings. Consequently, products such as baby and adult diapers, surgical gowns and other protective clothes and wipes and hoses were being imported in large quantities. In all, about Rs. 4,000 crore worth of technical textiles was being imported annually mainly from China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany and Italy, he added.

His Ministry, he said, would organise four workshops in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here next month to promote a dialogue with the industry and the end-users on four major areas of applications for technical textiles: health; protective clothing such as bullet-proof jackets and fire retardant and high altitude clothing; agriculture, such as bird protection nets, anti-hail nets, and crop covers; and civil engineering, such as protection of roads, canals, bridges and reservoirs against soil erosion and other such dangers.

Mr. Maran said he would also be writing to the Health, Home and Defence Ministers to create awareness on the potentials offered by technical textiles.

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