The Central Government should convince Sri Lanka to provide transshipment facilities to Indian firecracker exporters. If it’s gone fruitful, then Indian products can light up foreign skies, said K. Mariapan, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers’ Association ( Tanfama )
“India is the second largest firecracker manufacturer in the world, next to China.”However its share in the global trade is nothing as transshipment facilities once continued by Sri Lanka has been stopped,” “We have to go for transshipment as big/mother vessels do not call on Tuticorin Port due to its low depth,” Mariappan added.
He said the Indian industry used to export around five per cent of its production to countries like South Africa.If the Indian ports have deep depth then mother vessels can come in and exports can be made directly out of India, he added.
“Till such time, the Indian government should try to convince Sri Lanka to provide transshipment facilities for our cargo,” Mariappan said. With legal uncertainty as to their existence looming over their heads as the apex court is hearing a case to impose a nationwide ban on sale of firecrackers, the industry is trying to look out for other survival measures.
The firecrackers industry in Sivakasi provides the livelihood for around eight lakh people, directly and indirectly, he said. Mariappan also said the Indian government should prescribe the ISO firecracker noise standards for the industry so that the sector can follow the international rules.
Queried about catering to defense needs the industry officials said the defense sector requirements and standards are different and only one unit is catering to the defense needs.
Referring to the apex court order banning the sale of firecrackers in the national capital region (NCR) this year ahead of Diwali, Mariappan said there should be a legal protection to the fireworks industry so that the non-governmental organizations (NGO) do not interfere with the centuries-old Hindu religious and cultural traditions.
“The central government can relax the Ambient Air Quality Standards prescribed under the environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 during festival times,” Mariappan said.
“If our products are the main reason for smog in Delhi then Sivakasi by now should be a ghost city. The units here daily burst around Rs 100,000 worth of crackers for testing purposes.
“But people here breathe good air, there are different kinds of birds, including peacocks and butterflies,” G. Abiruben, Managing Director, Ayyan Fire Works. “The firecracker industry in Sivakasi is slowly sinking, and the younger generation are moving out.
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