Safety Inspections Launched in Sivakasi Fireworks Factories

Chennai, India – In response to ongoing incidents of explosions in fireworks factories leading to tragic deaths, the Tamil Nadu government has initiated the formation of four special teams. These teams will conduct inspections of fireworks manufacturing units situated in Sivakasi and nearby areas to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

The Virudhunagar district collector, V P Jayaseelan, has assembled the special teams to carry out inspections in four phases, spanning from May 14 to June 10. Each team, led by officers of the Tahsildars rank, will not only visit fireworks factories but also inspect villages within the district for any illegal manufacturing activities.

Officials emphasized that this inspection initiative is a routine exercise, but its significance is heightened due to the recent surge in explosions within fireworks manufacturing units in the district. The teams have been tasked with examining whether banned chemicals and practices, such as the use of Barium Nitrate and the production of joint crackers, are being employed.

Furthermore, the teams are authorized to take legal action against individuals involved in the illegal production of crackers, with the potential for invoking the Goondas Act against repeat offenders. A comprehensive report detailing the findings from these inspections will be submitted by the special teams.

Sivakasi and its neighboring regions, renowned for contributing 90% of the country’s firecracker production, experience peak production periods from May to October. However, the booming fireworks industry, valued at Rs 6,000 crores, has faced criticism for disregarding safety measures and subjecting laborers to precarious working conditions.

Despite generating employment opportunities for over 6 lakh individuals, the industry’s reputation for compromising worker safety remains a prevalent concern. The inspections conducted by the special teams aim to address these issues and ensure the welfare of laborers in the fireworks manufacturing sector.