Updated: October 27, 2019 12:49:41 pm
Crackers worth Rs 7 crore are expected to go up in smoke in the Tricity on Diwali.
Cracker traders stated that in Chandigarh, each cracker seller has got a stock worth over Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh and 96 licences have been issued. In Panchkula, 55 temporary licences have been issued and in Mohali, 14 licences have been issued. Besides, Mohali also has the wholesale cracker market at Kurali which alone sells a stock worth around Rs 3 crore.
Chirag Aggarwal, general secretary of the Chandigarh Crackers Association, however, said that now the production of crackers has been reduced to a considerable extent.
“Fearing a complete ban, the production is really less now. Cracker makers have not been investing much in the production now as they feel that government can put a complete ban on the cracker sale any time,” Aggarwal said.
There are families that splurge thousands of rupees during the three-hour window that they get to burst crackers. Waiting throughout the year to spend on crackers, Vikas Gupta, a Chandigarh resident, bursts crackers worth Rs 80,000 in those three hours.
“We feel Diwali is all about crackers. This word is synonymous with crackers. We are five to six families in our society and we burst crackers together,” Gupta said. He added, “This is one festival where children eagerly wait to burst crackers.”
Right from boxes of chakris, rockets and anars, the family gets it all.
In Sector 23, residents of a posh locality compete amongst themselves as to who will burst maximum crackers. Those who compete are a crockery businessman, a retired senior police officer and a retired tehsildar. The competition is about who has the longest lari, the one that creates the maximum pollution.
For some, even a cart (rehri) would fall short to accommodate the stock of crackers they would bring home but now, it has been reduced to a packet.
Former Congress councillor Subhash Chawla said that his family would purchase the entire left-out stock with the cracker sellers in the past but for the last three years, they have brought the purchase down to Rs 2,000.
“Previously, we had a lot of interest in crackers. We would go a few hours before Diwali night and take the entire left-out stock with the cracker seller. Sometimes, one rehri was not sufficient to carry those crackers. Now for the last three years with a lot of awareness about pollution and courts creating a window, it is just kids who go and purchase crackers worth Rs 2,000,” Chawla said.
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