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Chandigarh

Posted at: Nov 7, 2018, 1:07 AM; last updated: Nov 7, 2018, 1:07 AM (IST)

For sellers, it isn’t a cracker of a Diwali

Blame SC guidelines as sales fall by half in city; green crackers not available
For sellers, it isn’t a cracker of a Diwali
Children buy crackers at a stall in the Sector 24 market in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Pradeep Tewari

Ishrat S Banwait

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 6

Cracker sellers in the city are having a miserable Diwali as the sales have dropped to half as compared to last year. According to the sellers, while sales have been dropping regularly for the past few years, this year, the plunge has hit them hard. To add to their woes, there are no green crackers available in the region and some customers are adamant on buying the same.

The sellers blame it on the Supreme Court directives that have allowed only two hours for bursting crackers. Stalls set up in places like Sector 43 and Sector 46 saw negligible sales till the afternoon, which picked up a little in the evening. Sellers in Sector 24 seem to be doing a better business as some rush was seen at the stalls there. Crackers are being sold in 29 designated places across the city from today.

A Supreme Court order has allowed bursting of crackers only between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali. Anyone found violating the order will have to face criminal proceedings. As many as 11 cases were registered last year and in some cases, the law-breakers were made to stand till the rising of court and fined Rs 1,000.

Ramesh Vardhan, who had set up a stall for selling crackers, said, “The sale is just around 50 per cent as compared to last year. The Supreme Court guidelines are the main reason behind it.” He said their margin was already low as they were forced to sell these at cheaper prices to boost sales somewhat.

Lack of green crackers in the region has also impacted sales, according to some sellers. Sanjay Kumar, who was seen selling crackers at a stall in Sector 43, said, “Some customers ask for eco-friendly crackers, but we could not procure any. The sales have been impacted by this as some people were adamant on buying only green crackers,” he said.

However, there is still time and sales could pick up tomorrow. The stalls were put up today, while last year, these were set up earlier. Hence, a comparison of sales as compared to 2017 can be accurately made only after Diwali.

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