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Little Over 10 Days to Diwali, Delhi's Sadar Bazar Stares at Lull with No Green Crackers

The association believes that if licenses are given, obtaining green crackers from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, the hub of fireworks manufacturing, won’t be a problem.

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Updated:October 15, 2019, 11:30 AM IST
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Little Over 10 Days to Diwali, Delhi's Sadar Bazar Stares at Lull with No Green Crackers
(Image for representation: Reuters)

Delhi’s Sadar Bazar comes to life around Diwali every year as people rush to the market to grab firecrackers. Ahead of Diwali, Sadar Bazar is illuminated with fairy lights, multi-hued lamps, decorative candles and fireworks in their exuberant packaging. However, this time it was significantly dull.

The largest wholesale market for firecrackers was visibly desolate with no crackers ahead of the festival of lights, The Times of India reported.

The Delhi Police issued few licenses to sell the pyrotechnics by the scheduled date, and firecracker sellers are fretting not only about its effect on business but also about losing out to the illegal commerce in banned wares.

Fireworks Traders Welfare Association president Narender Gupta said, “The advertisement calling for temporary fireworks licenses were issued by Delhi Police on September 27. We applied for the same before September 30 since the deadline for the issue of licenses was mentioned as October 6. However, no licenses have been granted to us to date.”

The report added that till Monday, around 100 applications for permission to sell firecrackers had been received and 13 had been given the license. The delay in the issue of licenses appears to be due to the cops deciding to conduct physical checks of the sale point. “We are working in close coordination with the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation to allow only fireworks certified by them to be sold,” said a police officer.

In 2018, the apex court had ruled that only green crackers would be sold in the markets banned the seasonal firecrackers because of their adverse pressure on pollution. In fact, just days before Dusshera this year, Union Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan launched green crackers and announced that environment-friendly fireworks were already on sale in the markets. Dr Vardhan also claimed that the green crackers would release 30 percent less particulate matter and 20 percent less sulphur oxide and nitrous oxide emissions. However, spot checks by TOI have established that these are not readily available yet.

A police officer said, “We have provided the potential sellers a checklist on how to identify green crackers and we have asked the area SHOs to hold meetings with the market associations to ensure all sale of banned fireworks are immediately reported to police. Those selling the unauthorised incendiaries will be booked under the Explosives Act and Environment Protection Act.”

Firecrackers seller Jagjit Singh, said, “There were around 250 fireworks wholesalers in Sadar Bazar there years back. This went down to 80 or so last year. Now there are just 13. We have been informed that the files are stuck at the DCP level. We will take a delegation to meet the officers on Tuesday.”

“Non-green fireworks are arriving via warehouses in Ghaziabad and Faridabad. Some sellers have already stocked upon them,” a trader said.

The association believes that if licenses are given, obtaining green crackers from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, the hub of fireworks manufacturing, won’t be a problem. However, the items on offer will be limited. There are no eco-friendly options for sky illuminations, rockets, red crackers, and the bigger bombs.

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