Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday wrote to the chief ministers of Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan, and Haryana urging them “to kindly reconsider the blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers”.
In his letter, a copy of which was circulated to the media, Stalin said that the COVID-19 pandemic had a crippling effect on the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the country. The impact on Tamil Nadu’s economy, largely dependent on the MSME sector for growth and employment, has been significantly severe.
“The firecracker industry, concentrated around the town of Sivakasi, is one of the most important industrial activities in the State. Around 8 lakh workers depend on the State’s firecracker industry for their livelihood, which is the largest in our country,” he pointed out.
Referring to the blanket ban imposed on bursting crackers for Deepavali in these States citing pollution, he said already the Supreme Court has banned certain categories of polluting firecrackers and now, green crackers with significantly fewer emissions are being manufactured. “Therefore, a blanket ban on firecrackers is not reasonable. Such a ban is not prevalent in other countries. Moreover, such a ban if imposed by other states, it would also lead to the closure of the entire industry, jeopardizing the livelihood of around 8 lakh persons,” Stalin said.
Stating that crackers were integral to Deepavali celebrations, he urged them to reconsider the blanket ban and permitted the sale of green crackers manufactured as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal.