Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday wrote to his counterparts in Odisha and Rajasthan urging them to reconsider the decision to ban the sale and bursting of firecrackers in these State this Deepavali season, in order to protect the livelihood of people from Tamil Nadu involved in the fireworks industry.
In his letter to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, a copy of which was released to the media, Mr. Palaniswami referred to reports that these governments have recently banned the sale and bursting of crackers in their States for the ensuing Deepavali season, considering the pandemic COVID-19 situation.
“I would like to bring to your kind notice that 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 patients. I, therefore, request you to reconsider your government’s decision to ban the sale and bursting of crackers in your State for this Deepavali season,” Mr. Palaniswami contended.
Tamil Nadu is a major cracker manufacturing State using raw materials with reduced emission levels and low decibels, he said and underlined that Tamil Nadu contributed to about 90% of total manufacture of crackers in the country, providing direct employment to around four lakh people and indirect employment to four lakh people.
“Their livelihood solely depends on the sale of crackers during Deepavali season. The ban on bursting crackers in your State can have a direct bearing on the livelihood of over 8 lakh workers in the State of Tamil Nadu and another equal number of people engaged in its sale,” he said.
The CM also recalled a Supreme Court judgement on October 23, 2018 that directed all States to encourage bursting of crackers in public places for a limited period of two hours on the day of Deepavali, considering the direct and indirect employment involved in the manufacturing of crackers, as well as to safeguard the traditional/cultural way of celebrating the festival.