There will be no sale of crackers in Gurdaspur and Tarn Tarn districts this Diwali as the respective district administrations had failed to stop violation of the Explosives Act in both the districts last year. Though the Gurdaspur administration had arranged a lottery for allotting licenses for sale of crackers on Monday, it, however, got cancelled at the last minute as the authorities found it to be a violation of the fresh Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, which had directed the authorities to issue only 20 per cent licenses for Diwali.
“We had to cancel the lottery for issuing licences for sale of crackers today as we have to follow the High Court orders. No license was issued last year so we cannot issue any license this year as well. We can’t do nothing about it,” said Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu. When asked if the district administration will move High Court to get relief, the DC said, “We will not go to the High Court. However, cracker traders can go.” Sharing details about the development, Tarn Taran DC Pardeep Sabharwal said, “No licence was issued last year. So we were in no position to give permission to issue licenses for selling crackers this year. We have to abide by the orders of the High Court . We cannot do much about it.”
Additional Deputy Commissioner Gurdaspur Gurmit Singh said, “Yes, crackers were sold in violation of Explosives Act during during Diwali last year. No licence was given. So we can’t give any licence this year.” Unhappy with the decision, Bal Krishan, president of the cracker association in Gurdaspur, said, “Most of the crackers traders belong to lower middle class. They have already invested their hard earned money to purchase the crackers to sell them during Diwali. We have no money and time to move High Court on such a short notice. The administration should find some solution.”