March 20, 2019
A spate of adverse events ha e left the Fireworks capital of India, Sivakasi, gasping for breath as it is on its death bed.
For sure the fate of the Rs 6000 crore fire crackers industry that employs thousands of workers is bleak. And this is certain cast its shadow on the outcome of Virudhunagar Lok Sabha constituency in the general elections slated for April 18.
The jobs and livelihoods crisis will be the major poll plank in this general elections, at least here.
“There are about eight lakh workers who are employed in this industry. Their income was affected owing to the closure of the fire cracker units for two months after 2018 Diwali. The units started functioning only late February 2019,” P.Balasubramanian, a CPM office said. There is anger among people about the loss of earnings and they are worried over future.
The firecracker manufacturers were also upset at the attitude of the central government towards their industry.
“The car makers got some time to reduce vehicle emissions. But for firecracker units no such buffer time was given,” a fire cracker unit chief said.
The people here wanted to boycott elections. But they have come around to participating in polls. Political parties are racking up this issue as it is a vote getter in the polls.
Virudhunagar Lok Sabha seat has been allotted to DMDK by the ruling AIADMK while the DMK has given the seat to Congress.