Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday asked his counterparts in Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha and Haryana to reconsider the “unreasonable” blanket ban on sale of firecrackers, PTI reported. He urged the four states to permit the sale of firecrackers that have been approved by the Supreme Court.
“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,” Stalin said in a letter to the chief ministers, PTI reported. “Therefore, a blanket ban on firecrackers is not reasonable.”
Stalin added that the coronavirus pandemic has had a “crippling effect” on the small and medium enterprises in Tamil Nadu, including the firecrackers industry.
“The firecracker industry, concentrated around the town of Sivakasi, is one of the most important industrial activities in the state,” he said.
Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar district manufactures 90% of the firecrackers made in India and provides employment to three lakh people, according to the Business Standard. The industry would lose Rs 600 crore during Diwali if the ban in these four states continues, the Indian Fireworks Manufacturers Association told the newspaper.
The National Green Tribunal had in November imposed a ban on firecrackers in all the cities and towns in the country where the average air quality fell below the “poor”category.
An Air Quality index reading between 201 and 300 denotes “poor category”.
Subsequently, Rajasthan and Haryana had banned firecrackers for the Diwali season last year. In September, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee banned the sale and bursting of firecrackers up to January 1, 2022.