Tamil Nadu

Revoke ban, CM urges Odisha and Rajasthan

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday urged his counterparts in Odisha and Rajasthan to reconsider their decision to ban the sale and bursting of crackers this Deepavali season to protect the livelihood of the people of Tamil Nadu involved in fireworks manufacture.

In his letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, he referred to reports that these States had banned the sale and bursting of crackers due to COVID-19.

“I would like to bring to your kind notice that Tamil Nadu produces mainly green crackers; therefore, the question of environmental pollution does not arise. There are no empirical or validated data to demonstrate that the bursting of crackers has an effect on COVID-19 patients. I, therefore, request you to reconsider your government’s decision to ban the sale and bursting of crackers in your State during this Deepavali season,” Mr. Palaniswami said.

Tamil Nadu is a major cracker manufacturing State, using raw materials with reduced emission levels and low decibel, he said, underscoring that the State accounted for about 90% of the total manufacture of crackers in the country, providing direct employment to around four lakh people and indirect employment to four more lakh.

“Their livelihood solely depends on the sale of crackers during the Deepavali season. The ban on the bursting of crackers in your State can have a direct bearing on the livelihood of over 8 lakh workers in Tamil Nadu and an equal number of people engaged in cracker sales,” he said. He also recalled the Supreme Court’s October 23, 2018, judgment that directed all States to encourage bursting of crackers in public places for a limited period of two hours on Deepavali day, considering the direct and indirect employment in the manufacture of crackers, and to safeguard traditional celebrations.

Fixed slots

As per the Supreme Court direction, people in the State will be allowed to burst crackers during Deepavali from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., said Minister for Environment K.C. Karuppannan in Bhavani on Thursday.

Speaking to the media after distributing crop loans to farmers, he said the State had fixed two one-hour slots in the morning and evening for bursting crackers on Deepavali, and the same would be followed this year. He asked people to ensure smoke-free Deepavali and said that any decision on banning Chinese firecrackers would be taken by the Chief Minister.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 12:44:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/revoke-ban-cm-urges-odisha-and-rajasthan/article33033864.ece

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