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Deepavali production yet to pick up in Sivakasi

Now, all eyes are on the Supreme Court, which banned the production of non-green crackers and manufacturers of the fireworks industry are waiting for its final decision that will determine the fate of the industry.

MADURAI: Production of fireworks in Sivakasi, Virudhunagar district, is yet to pick up even as there is just a month to go for the festival of lights Deepavali.

Now, all eyes are on the Supreme Court, which banned the production of non-green crackers and manufacturers of the fireworks industry are waiting for its final decision that will determine the fate of the industry. With these in background, many manufacturers cite uncertainty as a key factor restraining demand, T Kannan, general secretary, The Indian Fireworks Manufacturers Association (TIFMA), Sivakasi said.

While the big industry players are strictly adhering to rules and regulations to produce green crackers fearing conditions will become dire, illegal manufacturing in small units has run rampant in many parts of Sivakasi as they feel compelled to call for curbs against such a menace.

Last year stocks finished almost flat and ‘we are looking forward to increasing production to meet fresh market demands.’ Since it rained heavily in various parts giving the much needed boost to agriculture, farmers this time would certainly buy large quantities of crackers and the production is expected to keep rising by this month end, Kannan told DT Next on Sunday.

However, production of crackers could hardly touch 40 per cent this year and the situation remains the same for the last two years, A Asaithambi, president, Sivakasi Fireworks Manufacturers Association, said. Still there are demands for Sivakasi crackers from northern states, including Punjab, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, but many workers got themselves attracted towards manufacturing illegal crackers as they had been paid better wages on a daily basis and there’re no time restrictions, he said.

However, Virudhunagar Collector J Meghanatha Reddy, when contacted, said illegal production of crackers has come down drastically as seven joint teams of officials are inspecting nearly 35 factories on a daily basis in the district to check violations, if any.

With around 140 factories remain closed after licenses were suspended citing violations, production was down by over 30 per cent said G Radhakrishnan, former president, TIFMA

According to N Elangovan, general secretary, Federation of Tamil Nadu Fireworks Traders, the effective ban on chain crackers and fireworks sans barium nitrate has affected the sale by 25 per cent. Further, he said the market price of crackers has also increased by 25 per cent.

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