Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister MP Stalin wrote to his counterparts in Delhi, Haryana, Odisha and Rajasthan on Friday urging them to reconsider the blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers in their respective states. He also called for the sale of firecrackers meeting the standards set by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal to be allowed in their states.
The firecracker industry was concentrated around Sivakasi in southern Tamil Nadu and around eight lakh workers were involved in the industry for a living. Declaring it to be the largest in the country, he also referred to reports that these four governments have imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers during the festival.
“I understand that you made this decision because of concerns about air pollution. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Supreme Court has already banned certain categories of polluting firecrackers and now green firecrackers with much less emissions are being produced. Therefore, a blanket ban on firecrackers is not reasonable. Such a ban is not widespread in other countries, ”Stalin argued.
Moreover, such a ban, if imposed by other states, would shut down the entire industry, jeopardizing the livelihoods of around eight lakhs, Stalin said and stressed. that the bursting of firecrackers was an integral part of Indian festivals, especially Deepavali. “A balanced approach that takes due account of the environment, livelihoods and public health is possible and necessary. ”
Mr Stalin also pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic was having a crippling effect on the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) sector in the country and the impact on the economy of Tamil Nadu, which is largely dependent on the MSME for growth and jobs, has been considerably harsh. “My government is now reviving the sector through targeted interventions,” he added.
Later that day, upon learning of the decision of the government of Rajasthan to lift the ban, Mr. Stalin wrote to his counterpart in Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, thanking him for his decision.
“I thank the Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot for his prompt response to my letter and for the lifting of the general ban on the sale of firecrackers. Your kind deed will light up the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who depend on this industry for their livelihood, ”Mr. Stalin said.