TN CM writes to his counterparts in Odisha, Rajasthan not to ban the sale and use of fire crackers
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has urged his counterparts in Odisha and Rajasthan not to ban the sale and use of fire crackers for this Diwali season, as it will have a cascading effect on manufacturers in the State.
This is in response to both the governments recently banning fire crackers ahead of Diwali season considering the pandemic Covid-19 situation.
Tamil Nadu produces mainly green crackers and therefore the question of environmental pollution does not arise. There is no empirical or validated data to demonstrate that the bursting of crackers has an effect on Covid-19 patients, he said in a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Diwali is celebrated by bursting crackers, as part of the cultural ethos. The Supreme Court in its judgment on October 23, 2018 in considering the direct and indirect employment involved in the manufacturing of crackers, as well as to safeguard the traditional/cultural way of celebrating the Diwali festival, directed all the States to encourage bursting of crackers in public places for a limited period of two hours on the day of Diwali.
In tune with the Supreme Court directions, Tamil Nadu has restricted the bursting of green crackers to one hour in the morning (6 am to 7 am) and one hour in the evening (7 pm to 8 pm), he said.
Tamil Nadu is a major cracker manufacturing State using raw materials with reduced emission and low decibel levels. Tamil Nadu contributes to about 90 per cent of total manufacture of crackers in the country, providing direct employment to around four lakh people and indirect employment to another four lakh people. Their livelihood solely depends on the sale of crackers during Diwali season.
“The ban on bursting crackers in your State can have a direct bearing on the livelihood of over eight lakh workers in the State of Tamil Nadu and another equal number of people engaged in its sale,” Palaniswami said in the letters to the two CMs.