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How Sivakasi came to be known as 'cracker city' and 'mini Japan'
Sivakasi, a small town which is situated about 500km south-west of Chennai, has turned its water scarcity problem to an advantage by making it a suitable place for firework manufacturing. Sivakasi is the leading destination for fireworks n our country and ninety percent of the fireworks are manufactured here. This 'cracker city' is often in news but for wrong reasons.

SIVAKASI IS the best choice for the production of fireworks as the climate is dry here and it records a low rain fall which helps in an intense production of fireworks. The fireworks that are produced for almost 300 days in the year are consumed in about three hours on Diwali night. Sivakasi is the largest supplier of fireworks, and it has a business of about Rs. 800-1000 crores, and this market grows at a rate of 10% per annum.

The founder of the fireworks industry in Sivakasi was Mr. P. Iyya Nadar, who along with Mr. N.R.K. Rajarathna Nadar, started the production of raw materials for the fireworks. They slowly expanded their business to the production of Safety Matches, Star Matches and Colour Matches and then ventured upon production of sparklers.

In 1940, when the Indian Explosives Rules were enacted and a system of licensing was introduced for the production of fireworks, the first organized factory for fireworks was established in Sivakasi with all the precautions and safety measures. After the World War II, the scope for the firework industries broadened due to the reopening of the export and import gateway. And then several new units of fireworks came into existence such as Kaliswari Fireworks, National Fireworks and Standard Fireworks. These three factories marketed their products throughout India.

Now, there are about 450 fireworks factories in Sivakasi, which are giving direct employment to about 40,000 workers and indirect employment to about one lakh people. The firework factories in Sivakasi also produce training weapons for military. These training weapons are used by the armed forces to train new officers.

But, fire accidents in Sivakasi are the most tragic events, and injurie many people almost every year. The main reason behind these tragedies are the trade union functionaries. Due to frequent fire accidents in Sivakasi it is fondly called as Kutty Japan (mini Japan) by the manufacturers, reported website sivakasionline - Japan because, it too, suffers at the hand of nature and fate due to natural calamities.

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