Monday, May 20, 2024

What’s the evidence firecrackers damage health in pandemic? asks Tamil Nadu chief minister

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami has written to his Orissa and Rajasthan counterparts asking them to review their decision on banning firecrackers during Diwali. He said there was no empirical evidence or validated data to prove that bursting of crackers harmed Covid-19 patients.

Tamil Nadu is the largest producer of firecrackers in the country. The sector provides direcr jobs to four lakh people, and indirect jobs to an equal number in the state. He said that even the Supreme Court had allowed the bursting crackers for two hours in the evening a couple of years ago.

With manufacturers engaged in making of crackers are nowadays using materials which lead to lesser emissions and decibels are lower. In fact, the TN government encourages people to burst “green crackers” twice during the day, an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, he said. This has been done in deference to the apex court directions.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a Tweet that corona cases have increased recently during the festival season and due to increased pollution. The virus infection impacts the functioning of lungs and higher pollution levels can cause distress in patients with breathing problems. Kejriwal has also decided to ban bursting of crackers.

The ban has been opposed by manufacturers of firecrackers across the country. However, the impact of this ban on TN is likely to be the most hard hitting. EPS has clearly said that it can have a bad impact on the livelihoods of lakhs of people.

With Diwali, the festival of lights, barely a week later, the ban on crackers could not have come at a worst time. It is during this festival that the maximum sales and bursting of crackers is recorded.

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