West Bengal Government Initiates Measures to Establish Green Firework Clusters and Curb Illegal Manufacturing

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In response to recent tragic incidents involving explosions at illegal firecracker units in West Bengal, the state government has taken decisive action by announcing the establishment of green firework clusters. These clusters will be strategically located in areas identified as hotspots for illegal firework manufacturing. The initiative aims to transform these illegal units into legal and environmentally-friendly green cracker facilities, while also safeguarding the livelihoods of those employed in the industry. Under the guidance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the state cabinet assembled on Monday and formed a committee led by Chief Secretary H.K. Dwivedi. The committee comprises secretaries from various departments including home, fire, urban development, panchayat, environment, and micro, small, and medium enterprises. Over the next two months, the committee will devise a comprehensive plan on how to facilitate the conversion of illegal firecracker-making units into lawful green cracker units. Additionally, the plan will focus on ensuring the smooth transition without causing sudden unemployment for the workers and owners involved.

The recent incidents, which claimed the lives of 11 people in East Midnapore’s Egra on May 16 and three individuals in Budge Budge on Sunday, have sparked significant concern. Chief Minister Banerjee expressed her frustration and urged district administrations and the police to enhance their vigilance and conduct regular raids. She emphasized the importance of promoting green fireworks clusters, which would prioritize safe practices, according to State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim. As part of the initiative, all illegal firecracker units will be sealed, and the state’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) department will assist them in transitioning to the proposed green firework clusters once they are established.

The firecracker industry in Bengal is valued at more than Rs 3000 crore, with major hubs located in South and North 24-Parganas, East Midnapore, Malda, Murshidabad, and several districts in North Bengal. A senior government official highlighted that this decision would effectively bring the entire firework industry under a legal framework while safeguarding livelihoods. By promoting sustainable practices and establishing green firework clusters, the government aims to prevent future accidents and mitigate the environmental impact associated with firecracker manufacturing in West Bengal.

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