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Shutters down, touts abound: How traders flouted SC firecracker order

When The Indian Express visited the area and met one such youth, he asked to write the name of crackers on a piece of paper. The crackers, he said, will be delivered at the same spot in a few minutes.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
October 19, 2017 2:23:56 am
At a firecracker shop in Chawri Bazar, Wednesday. Amit Mehra

Most traders kept shutters down in wholesale cracker markets of Old Delhi Wednesday, but managed to sell crackers through touts, thereby flouting the Supreme Court order banning sale of firecrackers to prevent air pollution in the capital. A wholesale trader of plastic said, “Near the mosque on Sadar Bazar thana road, you will find youth who can sell you crackers.”

When The Indian Express visited the area and met one such youth, he asked to write the name of crackers on a piece of paper. The crackers, he said, will be delivered at the same spot in a few minutes.

“You need to pay Rs 600 for a packet of anar and Rs 800 for a packet of bombs. Prices are high because we are risking our lives to sell them,” he said.

Traders in Chawri Bazar, Dariba Kalan and Chandni Chowk were operating in a similar way, some of them even offering home delivery of crackers. Shivam Binoy, a tout in Chawri Bazar said, “If you buy crackers worth more than Rs 5,000, they will be delivered at home. But the payment must be made in advance.”

Mohammad Ibrar, a cracker seller in Dariba Kalan, said he has not been able to sell even 10 per cent of his stock this year.

“This is a two-week business for those like us who sell crackers on the roadside. We are not big wholesalers who will sell during marriages and recover losses. If the authorities are not allowing us to sell crackers, they should have not given us licence. At the least, we must be compensated.”

Ibrar added: “I don’t blame people who are selling illegally. Some traders have spent more than Rs 20 lakh and have no idea how to recover the amount,” he said.

A senior police officer said, “ We want to send a warning that if we find any touts trying to sell crackers, he would be arrested and strict action will be taken against him.”

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