PESO (Sivakasi), Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives (in-charge) R. Venugopal said holding exhibitions or sale of fireworks in community and marriage halls could endanger life and property.

The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) has advised the district authorities to prohibit the retail sale of firecrackers in marriage halls.

In a communication sent to collectors and superintendents of police in 11 districts coming under the jurisdiction of PESO (Sivakasi), Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives (in-charge) R. Venugopal said holding exhibitions or sale of fireworks in community and marriage halls, and venues where people gathered in large numbers, could endanger life and property.

Mr.Venugopal told The Hindu that temporary licences were issued for the retail sale of crackers in approved shops on open grounds.

“This dangerous practice (of allowing sale of crackers in closed buildings) is unique only to Tamil Nadu,” he said.

“When temporary licences are given for marriage halls, there is a strong possibility of stocking crackers in excess, that weigh several tonnes,” he noted.

Fireworks shops were permitted to stock only 100 kg of fireworks and 500 kg of Chinese crackers or sparklers on their premises, for which a licence had to be obtained from a district magistrate.

However, shops licensed by PESO may stock 300 kg of fireworks and 1,200 kg of Chinese crackers, he pointed out.

Some cracker manufacturers from Virudhunagar district also brought the issue to the notice of authorities across the State. A manufacturer alleged safety norms were blatantly violated at marriage halls.

“The dealers may claim that they use the marriage halls only for interacting with customers and taking orders by displaying dummy crackers. But in practice, fireworks are stocked and sold in bulk in marriage halls,” he said.

“At least five truckloads of crackers are sold from a large marriage hall two days before Deepavali,” he said.

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