Amid ban on crackers, Delhi traders ask for exemption on green firecrackers

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The Delhi government has announced a blanket ban on the storage and manufacturing of firecrackers till January 1 next year. Although the traders associated with the business are worried, they are still waiting for the official order from the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). The police administration and businessmen are still awaiting written orders.

On September 1, the Delhi Police took out advertisements for obtaining temporary licenses for firecrackers and on September 9, before the last date for submission of forms, there was a complete ban on firecrackers.

TRADERS SUFFERED HUGE LOSSES

The traders who stocked in view of the preparations for Diwali, Dussehra, Chhath Puja, Guru Parv Shabe Barat and Navratri have suffered heavy losses.

Amit Jain, a firecracker trader from Jama Masjid in Delhi, said, “Now, only 40 per cent of the business is left. For the last 5 years, every time before Diwali and Dussehra, business comes to a halt. Green crackers can be burnt all over the country, but it is forbidden in Delhi.”

Similarly, Maheshwar Dayal, seller of firecrackers in Chandni Chowk said, “For the last 5 years, the blanket ban just before the festivals has been causing business losses and we are in debt. Many shopkeepers are running their business by taking loans. I have been in this business for 60 years now. What to do at this age?”

HS Chhabra, general secretary, Sadar Bazar Cracker Association, said “Police took out an advertisement in the newspaper to get license for firecrackers but the blanket ban was imposed just before the last day of form submissions. The stock holders have incurred losses.”

LIVELIHOOD CRISIS FOR BUSINESSMEN

There are 200 permanent and 400 temporary licenses for firecrackers in Delhi and the cracker business amounts to about 1,000 crore in the capital. In this seasonal work, a large Muslim population coming from Baghpat, Baraut, Meerut and Saharanpur is also involved, who are facing a livelihood crisis.

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