Kolkata: Manufacturers from India’s fireworks manufacturing hub at Sivakasi have written to Union home minister Amit Shah, pleading for intervention in the ban on use of crackers being announced by state governments and allow a two-hour window for celebrations with crackers during Diwali to save the industry from going up in smoke.
In a letter to Shah, the manufacturers that supply nearly 75% of the fireworks sold in Kolkata, said the situation had turned grave owing to bans imposed on fireworks in Delhi, Rajasthan, Bengal, Odisha and Sikkim. The governments have banned fireworks in all the states except Bengal where it is the Calcutta High Court that has imposed the restriction.
The letter to Shah comes barely two days before the National Green Tribunal is set to announce its order on a call for the ban to be extended to other 18 states.
“Green fireworks were manufactured as per Supreme Court and environment ministry directions. These do not cause environmental pollution. Road dust, car emission, industrial waste and other sources of pollution don’t have an effect on Covid-19 patients. So two hours of fireworks display will not affect anyone as they don’t emit poisonous gases,” association president P Ganesan has argued.
The umbrella body of fireworks manufacturers and sellers in Bengal is set to make the same argument when it files the case at Supreme Court against the HC order banning sale and use of firecrackers in Bengal in November.
“There is no emperical or validated data to demonstrate that bursting of crackers has an adverse effect on Covid patients. The Americans celebrated 4th of July with fireworks during the Covid-19 situation while wearing masks. In Japan, pyrotechnicians of Tokyo and other cities joined to launch the Cheer Up Hanabi Project on June 1 with fireworks. These did not have an impact on Covid patients,” said Babla Roy, the Bengal association president.
Both the associations have pleaded that the ban will impact 350 days’ production and affect 1.5 crore people linked to the industry all over the country.