Fireworks manufacturers in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu will not appeal against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to ban bursting of firecrackers during Diwali in places where average ambient air quality falls is 'poor' and 'worse' categories.
"There will be a total ban against the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the NCR (national capital region) from midnight of November 9-10, 2020 to the midnight of November 30-December 1, 2020, to be reviewed thereafter," the NGT had ordered.
"We may not be going for an appeal against the NGT order. An appeal has to be made in the Supreme Court for a stay order," Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA) President Ganesan Panjurajan told IANS.
The manufacturers are unsure whether they would get any stay order against the NGT order as there is Covid-19 pandemic and the allegations against their products revolve around air pollution during the pandemic.
Further, the manufacturers are relieved a bit as the ban order will be applicable only in places where the ambient air quality is not up to the mark.
In their submissions to the NGT, the TANFAMA said that during the 'bhumipoojan' at the Ayodhya temple construction site during coronavirus pandemic the whole of Uttar Pradesh celebrated the ocassion with fireworks.
"There was no spike in Covid cases by bursting of firecrackers. In Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi there are more than 1,200 firework factories that employ more than eight lakh people directly or indirectly. The factories check quality of fireworks daily by bursting them," TANFAMA added.
"Though fireworks are daily burst, there were only 15 new corona cases on November 5 in the entire district. Nowhere in the world has any country banned fireworks during the Covid-19 pandemic while celebrating their festivals," the association had said.
The manufacturers are of the view that the industry has been targeted by "vested interests" and that the NGT order will impact the sector for the next two seasons.
They said that NCR, Punjab, Rajasthan and other north Indian states are major firecracker markets that account for not less than 40 per cent of the industry's sales. "People in these states celebrate Diwali in a grand manner," he said.