Firecrackers business hit badly amid COVID-19 pandemic in Gurugram

Gurugram, Nov 3 : The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and confusion over operation of firecracker shops has decreased sales of firecrackers by 25 per cent in Gurugram this year.

Due to the pandemic and air pollution the markets in Gurugram are still deserted.

However, on the other hand the firecrackers merchants in Gurugram are selling environmentally friendly fireworks or ‘green’ crackers as mandated by the Supreme Court.

The firecrackers are available for sale only at designated shops-cum-godowns in Gadoli and Kadipur area in Gurugram, no retail shops (with temporary licence) are allowed to sell firecrackers. The Gurugram district has only 6-7 godowns of fireworks.

Ashok Saini, owner of Star Nights Fireworks, one of the fireworks merchants said, “Due to ongoing coronavirus and air pollution firecracker businesses are going down. The other reason is confusion among the people. I receive a number of calls from people to check whether shops are open or not”.

“The profit margin was 30-35 per cent but this year now it is 10-15 per cent only. This Diwali green crackers are the only hope of a revival in the firecrackers business,” he said.

The firecracker sellers claim that this time the manufacturers located in Sivakasi in Tami Nadu and parts of Rajasthan have supplied only green crackers.

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As per new directions of the district magistrate in Gurugram, fireworks can be used only on Diwali on November 14 between 8 to 10 pm.

The firecracker merchants claimed that people from Delhi, Noida, Gurugram and other districts come to purchase firecrackers. They said every shop with a licence is open till they get any direction from the court or authorities.

“This year the ongoing COVID pandemic hit people’s income as earlier a customer who used to buy Rs 5,000 of firecrackers, this year he is spending only Rs 1,000 to buy crackers. It means they are purchasing small quantities,” Saini added.

Meanwhile, several buyers said that the cause of pollution is not firecrackers but other activities.

“Construction works, vehicles and stubble burning is also causing huge pollution,” said Aman Dalal who has come from Noida to buy firecrackers, adding that the government must focus on other elements which cause major pollution.

Rajan Rajpal of Ganpati Fireworks said, people use firecrackers only on Diwali just for a few hours and its contribution to overall pollution is very little.

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“Few days are left in Diwali celebration and air pollution has already increased, reason behind the pollution are other elements and we should stop blaming firecrackers for the pollution,” Rajpal said, adding that firecracker businesses have been affected due to these “false” claims.

On the other hand, District Collector (DC) of Gurugram Amit Khatri on Tuesday has issued directions under the Explosive Substances Act 1884 and Explosive Substances Rules 2008 for the production, storage and sale of firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali in the district.

According to the orders, duties of concerned police officials, Municipal Corporation officials, Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) officials, Block Development and Panchayat Officers (BDPO) and Tehsildars have been allocated to ensure compliance with the orders of the DC.

Also, MCG Gurugram has launched a toll free number 1888-180-2738 so that anyone can inform the corporation about violations of the orders.

“These orders will come into force with immediate effect in the entire district of Gurugram and will remain in force till 6 a.m. on November 15,” a spokesperson of the district administration said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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