Tamil Nadu

Stalin writes to four States CMs against blanket ban on firecrackers

The firecracker industry in Sivakasi employs about eight lakh workers. File photo.   | Photo Credit: JAMES S

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Friday wrote to his counterparts in Delhi, Haryana, Odisha and Rajasthan urging them to reconsider the blanket ban on sale of firecrackers in their respective States. He also requested that the sale of firecrackers that fell within the norms set by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal may be permitted in their States.

The firecracker industry was concentrated around Sivakasi in southern Tamil Nadu and about eight lakh workers were involved in the industry for their livelihood. Stating that it was the largest in the country, he also referred to reports that these four governments have imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers during this festival.

“I understand that you have taken this decision based on concerns regarding air pollution. I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the Supreme Court has already banned certain categories of polluting firecrackers and now, green crackers with significantly less emissions are being manufactured. Therefore a blanket ban on firecrackers is not reasonable. Such a ban is not prevalent in other countries,” Mr. Stalin contended.

Moreover, such a ban, if imposed by other States, would lead to the closure of the entire industry, jeopardizing the livelihood of around eight lakh persons, Mr. Stalin said and underlined that the bursting of firecrackers was an integral part of Indian festivals, especially Deepavali. “A balanced approach that gives due regard to environment, livelihood and public health is possible and necessary.”

Mr. Stalin also pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic had a crippling effect on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the country and the impact on Tamil Nadu’s economy, largely dependent on the MSME sector for growth and employment, has been significantly severe. “My government is now in the process of reviving the sector through focused interventions,” he added.

Later in the day, on learning the decision of the Rajasthan government to lift the ban, Mr. Stalin wrote to his Rajasthan counterpart, Ashok Gehlot, thanking him for the decision.

“I thank Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot for his prompt response to my letter and for lifting the blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers. Your kind act will light up the lives of lakhs of people who are dependent on this industry for their livelihood,” Mr. Stalin said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 7:48:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-writes-to-four-states-cms-against-blanket-ban-on-firecrackers/article37004601.ece

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