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Promotion of alternative jute uses in modern context needed

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-09-03 14:00:00 – Kolkata

Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar while inaugurating the foundation stone of the new Patsan Bhavan,the upcoming Rs.70 crore nine-storied building near Kolkata will house several offices of jute sector in an integrated office complex said that while the demand for jute will remain stable on account of the provisions in the Jute Packaging Materials Act, its alternate uses in modern context needs to be promoted for the industry to stand on its own feet.

Besidese use of jute-based geotextiles which will be used majorly in the commercial sector and needs to be promoted extensively, Gangwar said that the fibre-based woven composites and designer products are also on the textiles ministry's agenda.

Gangwar said that IIT Kanpur has used jute to come up with a sanitary napkin which may soon be introduced for consumers.

Now, scientists at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), Kharagpur, have come out with sterilized sanitary napkins made from jute-based cellulose that could not only improve personal hygiene but also bring down the number of cervical cancer cases and most importantly, help revive the declining and stagnant jute industry.

Trials for the product that have been held over the last five months have provided “extremely encouraging” results.

According to key face of the project and a professor at the Material Science Centre at IIT-Kharagpur, the napkins were made to pass cyto-toxicity tests to see if there was any bacterial contamination. They found none. The napkins were sterilized with UV rays in a chamber, before being packed. They have also consulted the state drug control board before trying the products .

The National Jute Board (NJB) has been striving to recreate the use of jute — ranging from home décor to geo-textiles that could be utilized to construct roads.

The jute industry consists of 60 mills - nearly three lakh and about four million jute cultivators. However, due to complete paucity of demand, the industry is gasping for breath.

Jute - being a natural bio-degradable fibre will play a role in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India campaign.

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