The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday wrote to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot urging them to encourage bursting of fireworks for two hours during the Deepavali festival season since the ban will directly affect eight lakh workers in the sector from the state. He also said that the state mainly produces green crackers so there is no question of environmental pollution and there is no empirical study that bursting of crackers can increase COVID-19 spread.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami writing to his counterparts in Odisha and Rajasthan said, ‚ÄúThe Supreme Court of India, in its judgment in 2018, considering the direct and indirect employment involved in the manufacturing of crackers, as well as to safeguard the traditional and cultural way of celebrating the Diwali festival, directed all the States ‚Äėto encourage bursting of crackers in public places for a limited period of 2 hours on the day of Deepavali‚Äô.‚ÄĚ Following the same, the Chief Minister said Tamil Nadu also allows bursting of crackers for two hours on Deepavali.
Likewise urging his counterparts to allow bursting of crackers for two hours, the Chief Minister said that Tamil Nadu provides direct employment to around 4 lakh people and indirect employment to 4 lakh people. Their livelihood solely depends on the sale of crackers during Deepavali season. The ban on bursting crackers in these states can have a direct bearing on the livelihood of over 8 lakh workers in the state of Tamil Nadu and another equal number of people engaged in its sale, he said.
Accordingly, Palaniswami assured that the state produces crackers with reduced emission levels and low decibel. He said that Tamil Nadu produces green crackers and therefore the question on environmental pollution does not arise. In the view of banning crackers due to coronavirus, he said, ‚ÄúThere is no empirical or validated data to demonstrate that the bursting of crackers has an effect on COVID-19 patients.‚ÄĚ
Considering these, he urged his counterparts to allow bursting of crackers. He said, ‚ÄúI request you to reconsider your government's decision to ban the sale and bursting of crackers in your State for this Diwali season.‚ÄĚ