‘Focus should be on safety not on closing fireworks industry’

Focus of the State and Centre should be to make fireworks industry safer and not to close down the industry that employs lakhs of workers, said Virudhunagar M.P., B. Manickam Tagore.

After a consultative meeting with officials of Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) and fireworks manufacturers at the PESO office here on Monday, Mr. Tagore said that Sivakasi’s fireworks industry was 100 years old and is the pride of the nation. “We should make it safer and tap the export potential of the industry,” he added.

After the worst accident at Muthalipatti in 2012 in which over 40 persons were killed, the number of accidents has come down in the last nine years

“Achchankulam accident is a major one after nine years. We have to find out the anomalies in following safety protocols and try to eradicate them in the fireworks units rather than talking about closing down the industry,” Mr. Tagore said.

When pointed out that the PESO did not have adequate number of officials to inspect the 900-odd fireworks units, the Congress MP said that he would take up the issue with the Centre.

Mr. Tagore said that Deputy Chief Controller of Explosives, K. Sundaresan, told him that the State and Centre were exploring different means to bring down the number of accidents in fireworks industry.

Virudhunagar district Congress party would take the responsibility of meeting the educational needs of a girl, B. Nandini (12) who lost her father and mother in the accident on Friday.

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