|After a lull, Sivakasi gears up for next season|
Courtesy: Times of India
After a lull, Sivakasi gears up for next season
Business has resumed at Sivakasi for the next season. But, manufacturers say, the hub of fireworks, which usually buzzes back to business a week after Diwali has been bogged down by multiple factors like weather and poor demand this year. They, however, plan to start a full-fledged production in the following days once the weather clears.
K Mariappan, general secretary of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association said the ban on fireworks in Delhi and NCR days before Diwali came as a rude shock to Sivakasi manufacturers.
"The industry cannot function if buyers don't make advance payment for the next season. A lot of small manufacturers are keeping their units under lock and key, blaming it on weather conditions, although they had earlier conducted 'poojas' for the new season," he said.
P Ganesan of Sony Fireworks stated that the production commenced a few days back. "Other than Delhi, there is a demand for fireworks for marriage functions. People are fond of firecrackers, but propaganda against it is taking a toll on the industry," he said.
The prolonged closure has affected the large workforce depending upon the industry. At least 1.5 lakh people in and around Sivakasi are directly employed in the fireworks sector. "Diwali came in the middle of the month and units have been closed for nearly a month. Workers have run out of cash and are left in a lurch", said M Mahalakshmi, district secretary of Fireworks Workers Association at Sivakasi.
With Christmas approaching there is certain amount of demand for fireworks but cold and rainy climate is not conducive for fireworks manufacturing, say workers. However the industry is starting the season in a positive note after the industry was moved from 28 % to 18 % slab under Goods and Services Tax recently.