Proposed expressway could help Varanasi weavers

by kodysworld on Sep 21, 2007      Category: Economics & Business Tags: india governance varanasi weavers infrastructure

A 1000 km, 8 lane expressway is to be built between Varanasi (Balia) and Noida near Delhi. The time to travel between the two cities will shrink to 8 hours from the curren 20-24 hours!

"The expressway will be constructed by setting up flood control embankments on the Ganga. The expressway's connectivity with Delhi will open new vistas for the unemployed youths of Uttar Pradesh. The project will also help in re-energising the traditional industries based in places like Bhadohi, Kannauj and Khurja and also help the weavers and craftsmen to improve their economic condition effectively."

How much benifit will the silk weavers get from this? Faster and cheaper access to the capital should definitely help trade, tourism etc. At the same time, can it hurt the local economy with faster access to powerloom silk sari copies from China and Surat? Both Chinese and Surat powerloom "Banrarasi sari" copies are hurting the handloom weavers of Varanasi.

I hear that many of the weaver communities live in slums close to the land needed for the highways and could be prime real estate. This could work well for the Varanasi Weavers Trust (http://www.varanasisilk.org) which plans to use real-estate exchange and capial markets to re-house the weavers after selling their land to the goverment/private parties. This self-sustaining model has been implemented in Colombo, Sri Lanka by Dr. Darin Gunesekerea re-housing 4000 slum-dwellers.

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