Industry body wants “impractical” draft recommendations dropped

Industry body wants “impractical” draft recommendations dropped

Fireworks industry here has sought the intervention of Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman in the “impractical” draft recommendations made by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation with regard to safety of cracker shops across the country.

A statement issued by All India Federation of Fireworks Industry said the Ministry of Commerce and Industry should make it clear that the recommendations were made only by a panel appointed by the court and they were totally impractical since they resulted in closure of all shops.

The Centre should clarify that it had not taken any policy decision to close all the fireworks shops and the entire industry.

They also wanted the government to drop certain aspects of the draft safety norms, including the one prescribing 15-metre safety distance for cracker shops from educational institutions, hospitals and diagnostic centres.

Over 840 licensed cracker units in and around Sivakasi had downed shutters since February 18 after PESO prepared a fresh set of safety guidelines for cracker shops following an accident in a licensed cracker shop in the town that claimed nine lives.

The federation said implementation of the new safety rules would result in closure of all licensed cracker shops, and ultimately lead to closure of the industry.

It said accidents in cracker shops occurred only because of failure in implementation of the existing safety norms by the authorities concerned and not because of any lacunae in safety guidelines.

Meanwhile, the federation called for a bandh in Sivakasi and Thiruthangal on Wednesday, besides a hunger strike in Kurukkuchalai Gound in Thiruthangal.

The industry stakeholders’ struggle for livelihood would continue till the proposed draft rules were dropped, the statement said.

Several associations related to printing industry, matches industry, fireworks manufacturers, dealers, paper merchants, lorry owners, Anna Vegetable Market and Consolidated Vegetable Market in Sivakasi had extended their support to the bandh, the statement added.

News & Events