Nation Current Affairs 01 Nov 2021 Cracker units cut do ...

Cracker units cut down production for Diwali by 60 per cent; fearful of Covid curbs

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DC CORRESPONDENT
Published Nov 1, 2021, 12:05 am IST
Updated Nov 1, 2021, 12:05 am IST
There also is a shortage of ingredients in cracker manufacturing like sulphur, nitrate, coal etc
Labourers work on eco-friendly crackers, which produce less smoke and contain less chemicals. (AFP file photo)
 Labourers work on eco-friendly crackers, which produce less smoke and contain less chemicals. (AFP file photo)

KAKINADA: Cracker manufacturers in the districts of Visakhapatnam and the East and West Godavari have cut down production by 60 per cent for this Diwali season. They did so for fear of eruption of the third wave of Covid19 and likely curbs on public activities related to the festival.

Medical experts have hinted at the possibility of a third wave by October-November months. This has not happened so far and Covid cases have sharply come down. Yet, cracker manufacturers do not want to take a chance.

There also is a shortage of ingredients in cracker manufacturing like sulphur, nitrate, coal etc. A wholesale dealer imports these from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and is supplying to cracker manufacturing units. Reports are that these raw materials are not available in sufficient quantities and hence their prices have been hiked abnormally.

 “From last year, we are reducing production due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation is worse this season. Officials are not giving permission to cracker manufacturing units for production unless they fulfilled the modified guidelines issued by the government.

Many cracker manufacturers had set up the units by following the previous guidelines. After this, the government has changed the norms and increased the distance between the cracker-making and storage points, so as to limit harm in case a fire erupted, said Satyanarayana Murthy of Komaripalem village in East Godavari district, who is president of the cracker manufacturer zones of Visakhapatnam as also of the East and West Godavari districts.

He said that though two of these district administrations have given permission to cracker manufacturers, the East Godavari officials are hesitant due to some fire incidents in the past. The government can earn a revenue of above Rs 1 crore through GST and other taxes from the cracker units.

There are nearly 120 cracker manufacturing units in these three districts, but the authorities have given permissions only to nearly 80 of these. In East Godavari district, there are 56 cracker manufacturing units, of which only 30 to 34 units got the nod.

Abbanna of Vetlapalem village of East Godavari district, who could not get the permission for cracker manufacturing this time, said many persons would lose work and pay. Every year this season, hundreds of ordinary people used to be engaged by cracker units for work. This time, they will be left high and dry.

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