Groom Sivakasi for global fireworks market: Virudhunagar MP

Virudhunagar MP says the State government officials should step in to help rebrand the town’s crackers

Published: 25th September 2021 05:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2021 05:56 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

VIRUDHUNAGAR: In the background of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call - ‘Local goes Global: Make in India for the World’ - and the ban on fireworks imposed by the New Delhi government, TNIE spoke to Virudhunagar MP B Manickam Tagore, who has been advocating to make Sivakasi an export hub for fireworks, thereby unleashing the potential of the industry. 

From court orders to Covid, the industry is continuously facing problems. How is the local economy affected and how does it impact the society?
It is a traditional industry, which has transformed to suit the needs of the world. There is an inherent urge for innovation inside those in the industry. Whenever an issue comes up and associated new laws or rules are framed, the industry transforms itself. It is this adaptability that had helped it sustain. However, this time, the green crackers which are manufactured as per SC’s order are banned. It is unacceptable. The economy of the industry and the allied industries have taken a hit. We have to save the industry and sustain the district’s economy. 

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had said, he made the announcement much early in order to avoid losses for the traders? How do you see it, given that there is an entire sector dependent on it?
We cannot make them understand. Kejriwal’s decision has no scientific basis, rather it is an irresponsible one. According to data, due to pollution, Delhi turns uninhabitable for 268 out of 365 days in a year. Is it because of bursting of crackers for two days? His failure throughout the year will be blatantly exposed this time of the year due to several geographical and climatic factors, and he wants a scapegoat - here it is firecrackers. They are changing tradition as well as failing the industry.

What is your plan for the export hub; what steps are being taken to implement it? 
As far as the Union government and the offices in Delhi are concerned, we fall apart from the periphery of their view and they see only the pain (accidents that take place rarely), child labour (which has been almost nil now) and pollution. They are not able to see the industry’s potential. The workers have expert-level skill which people from other parts do not possess. If an export hub is brought in, we get into bigger systems and bigger dreams. Those who have the skill will further be trained. The whole world will become our market and the industry will get more financial backup. 

As an MP, how do you envisage creating alternative sustainable opportunities for these people without migration or adverse impact, given that bans are imposed each year?
The Central government should understand that there can be supporting industries for cracker industry. But we should not let the industry die citing violations or using authority. We should groom the industry to suit the world market. 

During your previous term in the office (2009-14) and current term, what has changed in the sector? How do you think the Union Government’s actions have changed during your terms? 
Back then, it was a safety-oriented issue, while now it is facing an existential crisis. Also, now the biggest challenge is to make those in New Delhi understand the reality.  This is where we need the Tamil Nadu government’s help to rebrand Sivaksi and I hope Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu will help in the process. 


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  • g chandrasekar

    In ten years as MP
    2 months ago reply
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