Tamil Nadu Requests Odisha, Rajasthan To Allow Use Of ‘Green’ Crackers This Diwali

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Bhubaneswar/Chennai: Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday requested his Odisha and Rajasthan counterparts to lift the ban on the sale and bursting of crackers during Diwali this year.

On November 4, the Odisha government imposed a ban on the sale and use of firecrackers from November 10 to 30 in order to prevent the resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

“Tamil Nadu state produces mainly green crackers and therefore the question of environmental pollution does not arise. There is no empirical or validated data to demonstrate that the bursting of crackers has an effect on COVID patients. I, therefore, request you to reconsider the decision to ban the sale and bursting of crackers in your state for this Deepavali season,” Palaniswami said in his letter to Naveen Patnaik and Ashok Gehlot.

He also pointed out that Tamil Nadu contributes about 90 per cent of the total manufacture of crackers in the country, providing direct employment to around four lakh people and indirect employment to four lakh people.

“Their livelihood solely depends on the sale of crackers during Deepavali season. The ban on bursting crackers in your state 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 added.

The chief minister cited the October 23, 2018, order of the Supreme Court in which it directed the states “to encourage bursting of crackers in public places for a limited period of 2 hours on the day of Deepavali”, considering the direct and indirect employment involved in the manufacturing of crackers, as well as to safeguard the traditional/cultural way of celebrating the festival.

Keeping in tune with the SC directive, Tamil Nadu had restricted the bursting of green crackers to one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, he added.

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