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Fireworks production postponed as rain plays spoilsport in Sivakasi

5th November 2014

Courtesy: The Times of India

Fireworks production postponed as rain plays spoilsport in Sivakasi

Fireworks manufacturers in Sivakasi are playing a wait-and-watch game to begin production as they feel that the rain due to northeast monsoon may play spoilsport. Under normal circumstances, units in Sivakasi should have commenced their production by now for next Diwali. However, the manufacturers are planning to postpone it for two more weeks due to the climatic conditions.

Every year, Sivakasi usually shuts down only a week before Diwali and resumes production 10 days post the festival. However, this year, production may be delayed further since the fireworks need sunlight and lesser moisture in the air. "Most of the units have completed offering prayers ahead of the next season but production has not started because of the rain," said A M S G Ashokan of We Two Brand fireworks.

A Mariappan, member of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA) says that high moisture in air will impact the quality of fireworks especially in colourful items. "We have decided to wait for two more weeks before starting the production since we anticipate more rains," he stated.

However, this delay has impacted other industries especially allied ones supporting fireworks due to which thousands of workers have to bear loss of livelihood. L Baskar, running a unit supplying cardboard moulds for pyro fireworks said that many industries like theirs are directly linked to fireworks. "When they (fireworks) shut their units, we have to obviously close down our units. But it will pick up again once the rain stops. Till then, we need to manage this delay," he said.

However, life will not be easy for many workers, said M Mahalakshmi, district secretary of Fireworks Workers Association in Sivakasi. "Many will borrow weekly loans from loan sharks and end up paying huge interests. Moreover the bonus money they had received was hardly enough to celebrate Diwali and manage this period without work," she said.

"We are planning to demand the owners and government to make some arrangements like supporting workers with minimum compensation when there is no work," she said.

"We are waiting for the rain to end as we have to gear up for Christmas and New Year demand. Moreover, wedding season will be at its peak during winter months in North India and we have to supply fireworks as well," said Ashokan.

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