October 28, 2016
Not just the Chinese, even domestic awareness campaigns against noise pollution and environment protection are killing the Sivakasi firecracker industry
Environmental concerns and subsequent campaigns by school children across the country against crackers has spelt the death knell of the Sivakasi firecracker industry, with many units shutting shop over the past five years.
Trade and industry chamber, ASSOCHAM has in a recent analysis after a country-wide survey declared that the Sivakasi firecracker industry was not only up against Chinese imports, which this year have come down in view of the restrictions on Chinese crackers, but also due to the anti-noise pollution campaigns by school children across the country. Even several residential welfare associations too have actively taken up this campaign further hurting the firecracker industry.
For the past five years, the traders have been witnessing a dramatic drop of 20 per cent in year on year crackers sales and demand. Due to poor sales, the traders, the chamber found have cut down their procurement from Sivakasi by half as compared to five years ago.
The ASSOCHAM carried out a survey among 250 firecracker traders across 10 cities including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Dehradun, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumba. The consensus was that apart from Chinese firecrackers, the growing environmental awareness, rising costs of living, growing tendency amid people to save their hard-earned money rather than burn it by bursting crackers, paucity of time, traffic congestions during festive seasons have collectively dampened business of firecrackers over the years.
“About hundreds of units in Sivakasi have shut their shop owing to intense campaigns and growing sales of China-made crackers over the years. It is estimated that about 30,000 people have lost their livelihood,” said D S Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM.
There are about 800 licensed firecracker making units in Sivakasi with a total size of about Rs 2,500 crore which has been facing heat from China’s influence that has grown by leaps and bounds during past few years, he added.