Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EPS Opposes Ban On Sale Of Firecrackers By Other States, Seeks ‘Empirical Evidence’ On Covid Patients Being Affected

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EPS Opposes Ban On Sale Of Firecrackers By Other States, Seeks ‘Empirical Evidence’ On Covid Patients Being Affected

by M R Subramani - Nov 6, 2020 12:58 PM +05:30 IST
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EPS Opposes Ban On Sale Of Firecrackers By Other States, Seeks ‘Empirical Evidence’ On Covid Patients Being AffectedTamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
  • Tamil Nadu Chief Minister urges other states to reconsider ban on bursting of firecrackers, asserting that there is no evidence to support the detrimental effect it can have on Covid patients.

With a few states in the country banning the sale and bursting of firecrackers during Diwali, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) has pointed out that “there is no empirical evidence or validated data to demonstrate that the bursting of crackers has effect on COVID patients”.

In a letter to the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Odisha, EPS urged them to reconsider the ban in their state for Diwali.

The communication from the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister — the first by any state chief minister in the country — assumes significance in the wake of views that since the mercury would dip during Diwali, there is a danger from bursting crackers during that time.

Jharkhand chapter of Indian Medical Association President Dr A K Singh has claimed that the dry air during Diwali this year could aggravate the difficulties in breathing, especially among those whose lungs have been affected.

Many people who have been infected by the novel coronavirus have been found with problems in their lungs. However, as stated by EPS, the claim has not been supported by any data or evidence.

Delhi is the latest to join the list of states that have banned firecrackers sale or bursting during Diwali.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that he and his team had reviewed the Coronavirus situation and the positive cases had increased due to festival and pollution.

As a result, the government had decided to ban crackers in the capital region, he said.

The decision to ban the crackers has been stiffly opposed by fireworks manufacturers across the country.

Taking up the cause for the fireworks manufacturers, EPS pointed out that the ban would impact direct and indirect employment in the firecrackers industry. Some four lakh people are directly employed and an equal number of people are indirectly engaged by the firecrackers industry in the state.

"The ban on bursting crackers in your 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," the Chief Minister said.

At the same time, the country’s tradition and culture should be protected, he said.

“The Supreme Court in its order of October 2018 directed all the states to encourage bursting of crackers in public places for a limited period of 2 hours on the day of Diwali," he pointed out.

EPS said that the Tamil Nadu government, heeding the Supreme Court order, had allowed the bursting of green crackers for one hour in the morning and another hour in the evening.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said firecracker manufacturers were using raw materials whose emission levels and decibels were lower.

EPS raising the issue with his counterparts of other states is also significant since Tamil Nadu accounts for 90 per cent of the total firecrackers manufactured in the country.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister assured his counterparts that firecrackers produced in the state were environment-friendly and the question of pollution did not arise.

On social media, the EPS tweet on the letter was met with a response to increasing the time for the bursting of crackers in the state.

M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani

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