TIRUCHY: Not just the pollution board and environmental activists, sanitation workers too wish firecrackers were kept to the minimum during the Festival of Lights. While Tiruchy is in a mood of celebration, Deepavali has brought a host of concerns for sanitation workers. Many of them said the careless use of firecrackers in public only add to their workload the day after.
"People usually burst firecrackers on the roads. Removing the shreds of paper is not easy. A few of us suffer eye irritation when we sweep the roads. We are helpless and have to clear the mess left after the celebrations," said a sanitation worker, who has been with the Tiruchy corporation for 10 years.
Unlike in previous years, the spread of the Coronavirus has kept the administration busy in ensuring the safety of people and the civic body has hardly found any time to promote greener options this festive season. Though the State has government fixed time slots (6 am to 7 am and 7 pm to 8 pm) for the bursting of firecrackers, sanitation workers opined that this was unlikely to change their situation.
"People are unlikely to follow the time slots. It would have been better if the bursting of crackers in public places was banned. Sometimes the firecrackers go off even as we sweep the roads. Commercial hubs like Big Bazaar street will be full of waste, like discarded cartons, which would only increase our workload," said a sanitation worker in Ponmalai.
Officials admitted that the festival was a taxing time for the civic body. "Our workers have to make a lot of effort to clean the roads and other public places. We request the public to limit the use of firecrackers or to at least use them responsibly," said a senior official.