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Tamil Nadu forms special teams to inspect fireworks manufacturing units in wake of Sivakasi factory explosions

The fireworks industry in Sivakasi, which is valued at Rs 6,000 crores, is often accused of throwing safety rules to the wind resulting in loss of lives.
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 14:31 IST
Last Updated : 15 May 2024, 14:31 IST

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Chennai: Tamil Nadu government has formed four special teams to inspect and check whether fireworks manufacturing units in Sivakasi and neighbouring areas are functioning without violations, in the wake of incidents of explosions inside factories continuing to claim lives of hapless labourers.

The special teams, constituted by Virudhunagar district collector V P Jayaseelan, will visit fireworks factories located in the district in four phases – May 14 to May 20, May 21 to May 27, May 28 to June 3, and June 4 to June 10.

The teams will be headed by four officers in the rank of Tahsildars who will also visit villages in Virudhunagar district to see whether fireworks are manufactured illegally in homes, in agricultural lands, and in abandoned buildings.

“This is a routine exercise,” a senior official told DH, adding that the move assumes significance as the district has been witnessing several incidents of explosions inside fireworks manufacturing units in the past few weeks.

The teams have also been asked to visit village during the night hours to check whether there is any violation. “There is no ban on manufacturing crackers. But the teams should inspect factories to see whether banned chemicals like Barium Nitrate are used and whether joint crackers are being manufactured,” another official said.

The teams have also been empowered to file police complaints against people who manufacture crackers illegally. “If someone is found involved in manufacturing crackers illegally continuously, he can be booked under the Goondas Act,” a circular issued by the district collector said.

The special teams will also send a detailed report on the inspections in fireworks manufacturing units.

Firecracker units in Sivakasi and adjoining areas, which account for 90 per cent of cracker production in the country, are generally busy from May to October as they race against time to complete orders for a series of festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Ayudha Pooja, and Deepavali.

The fireworks industry in Sivakasi, which is valued at Rs 6,000 crores, is often accused of throwing safety rules to the wind resulting in loss of lives. The industry, which provides direct and indirect jobs to over 6 lakh people, is also accused of forcing labourers to work under poor conditions.

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Published 15 May 2024, 14:31 IST

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