K Palaniswami urges Rajasthan, Odisha CMs to revoke ban on firecrackers, cites impact on Tamil Nadu's fireworks industry
In identical letters sent to the chief ministers of both states, the Tamil Nadu CM also argued that there is no empirical or validated data to demonstrate that the bursting of crackers has an effect on COVID-19 patients
Chennai: Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday requested his Rajasthan and Odisha counterparts to revoke the ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in their respective states, considering its impact on about eight lakh workers in Tamil Nadu, the national fireworks hub.
In identical letters to Ashok Gehlot and Naveen Patnaik, chief ministers of Rajasthan and Odisha, respectively, he pointed to the ban imposed in both the states over pollution concerns in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
About 90 percent of the total cracker manufacture in the country is from Tamil Nadu which provided direct and indirect employment to about eight lakh people, Palaniswami noted.
"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 Tamil Nadu and an equal number of people engaged in its sale," he said.
Tamil Nadu used raw materials with reduced emission level and produced low decibel firecrackers, he pointed out.
"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-19 patients.
"I, therefore, request you to reconsider your governments' decision to ban the sale and bursting of crackers in your State for this Diwali season. My advance Diwali wishes to you and your family," Palaniswami said. As per a 2018 Supreme Court direction, Tamil Nadu has only restricted bursting of green crackers to one hour in the morning and for an equal time duration in the evening, he added.
The fireworks industry is mainly concentrated in and around Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district in southern TamilNadu.
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