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‘Green crackers’ a myth, say fireworks manufacturers

‘Green crackers’ a myth, say fireworks manufacturers

Around 100 representatives of fireworks manufacturers from across the country claimed that the concept of `green crackers’ floated by the Supreme Court was a mere myth as no such thing existed anywhere in the world. The representatives are here in the city for a joint meeting with National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (Peso).

“The unjustified orders of the Supreme Court restricting burning of crackers to two hours for any festival, banning of barium and joined crackers (lari) will be a death blow on the Rs10,000 crore cracker industry. If the apex court does not reverse its orders, 1.8 million people will be deprived on livelihood,” said Kalirajan Mariappan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA).

“We will fight it out. The court has ignored the fact that out business is totally legitimate. It is supported by laws passed in Parliament and so the curns imposed are against the rules and norms and followed meticulously by manufacturers for the last 80 years. The sudden decision to impose a ban by the court without applying mind or understanding our views will kill the industry,” said Rajiv Jain, joint president of North India Fireworks Association whose representatives were also present for the meeting.

Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu is the fireworks hub of the country with 1,070 units in and around that town accounting for 90% of manufacture. Around 600 units are located in north India and rest of the country. Apart from 8 lakh families in and around Siavakasi, one million people depend on the crackers business involving transport, storing, selling, etc

“After the meeting with Neeri and PESO, what has emerged is that there is absolutely no clarity on the issue of green crackers. Neeri has claimed that it has developed three green products, but it has not got any approval from PESO which is the final authority on this,” said Mariappan. He claimed that all the units in Siavakasi as well as rest of India were caught so much by surprise by the sudden decision of Supreme Court that they have shut down the business completely.

“Scientific studies have proven that fireworks smoke disperses within 24 hours. Cracker burning is a one-day affair and is banned nowhere except in world except Beijing because of pollution concerns. The smog issue of Delhi- NCR is because of 17 thermal power stations in that region, a crore of auto mobiles sowing exhaust and crop stalk burning in Punjab and Haryana and nothing to do with fireworks,” asserted Mairappan.

The next hearing of the case is due on December 11 in Supreme Court and the manufacturers are hoping that their voice will at last be heard as ban.

After the joint meeting, the fireworks manufacturers claimed that `green crackers‘ were a myth and that the ban, restrictions imposed on fireworks by Supreme Court were unjustified, against prevailing laws. The manufacturers said 8 lakh families in Tamil Nadu‘s Sivakasi and a similar number engaged in the business across the country will lose livelihood as 1600 manufacturing units have closed down after the crackers ban.

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