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Firecrackers Easily Available in Delhi Despite SC Ban, Traders Do Brisk Business From Homes

The SC on October 9 had reversed its earlier September 12 order and stated that in view of the alarming rise in levels of noise and air pollution, sale of firecrackers would be prohibited in Delhi-NCR till November 1.

Deepa Rana, Runjhun Sharma

Updated:October 18, 2017, 7:00 PM IST
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New Delhi: An investigation done by CNN-News18 has found that the Supreme Court’s ban on firecrackers in Delhi-NCR has not turned people to online portals or any black market. It is the regular neighborhood shops that are selling firecrackers openly.

The SC on October 9 had reversed its earlier September 12 order and stated that in view of the alarming rise in levels of noise and air pollution, sale of firecrackers would be prohibited in Delhi-NCR till November 1.

However, in various locations of Delhi, the ban remained only on paper and did not seem to affect business.

At Uttam Nagar’s Atsal Nagar, CNN-News18 team found that firecrackers were being sold illegally inside the house of a shopkeeper. The modus operandi was simple. Light and lamps were available outside the shop, and if the customers were looking for crackers, then they could just step inside the seller’s home, away from prying eyes.

When the correspondent enquired about crackers, the shopkeeper said, “Yes, we have all kinds of crackers.” Later his wife too joined in and offered to show the more powerful variety of crackers. This illegal transaction passed off without incidence despite there being a police station right across the road.

Although Delhi police has seized over 1,200 kgs of firecrackers so far, CNN-News18 found that crackers are also still being sold openly in local markets near Brahmaputra, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon.

When the correspondent approached the shopkeepers who were selling crackers from inside their homes, a seller in West Delhi said, “How much do you want? We have bombs, rockets, everything. Our children too burst crackers every day and nothing happens,” said the seller.

At some places, our correspondent found that shops which had their shutters down and locks sealed were also selling crackers discreetly.

“Isn’t there are a police station around,” asked our correspondent, to which the seller replied that the station is 300 metres away from the shop. He alleged that the police worked in cahoots with the sellers.

“The police comes to probe us only when there is a complaint otherwise we have already given them money. Their (police) jobs will be in jeopardy if we do our business in open,” said the shopkeeper in Farrukhnagar in Ghaziabad.

The sellers also said that they had paid a sum of Rs 5,000 to the police as they were caught selling firecrackers. “The shops are sealed but customers keep calling us and we sell them,” said the Farrukhnagar cracker seller.

With Diwali tomorrow, the big question is how these traders are running this illegal sale of firecrackers despite tall claims by the authorities of executing the SC order on ground. Is it really a cracker-free Diwali?

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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