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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Awareness steals cracker thunder

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 12, 2012
First Published: 00:28 IST(12/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(12/11/2012)

Delhi is likely to celebrate a quieter and less polluted Diwali this year with the sale of fire crackers at an all-time low.

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Many neighbourhoods still do not have stalls for selling fire crackers. Suppliers are blaming the police for their business not picking up.

"There are a lot of issues about the licences with the police curtailing the distribution, which is why the sales are not picking up," said Dinesh Aggarwal, a fireworks supplier based in west Delhi.

Inflation also seems to be a big factor in curtailing the sale of crackers.

"Fire crackers are expensive and we will eventually have to give in to the demand of our children but we will try and ensure that they do not buy too many crackers," said Shailender Sharma, an MNC employee from Mayur Vihar III.

Thanks to increasing sensitisation over environment pollution among children and the growing concern over the layer of smog enveloping Gurgaon as well, the firecracker stalls this year are not being thronged with as much fervour as compared to previous years.

The administration this year allowed the dealers to set up cracker stalls for three days at - Leisure Valley Grounds, Sector 5 ground and Ghaushala ground.

The sale began on Sunday but dealers felt the usual rush for buying crackers was missing this time.

"As compared to last year, the sale seems dull this year. People have become more aware about air pollution and the environment," said Anil Kumar (35), who has been in the firecracker business for last 10 years.

Some felt the three-day period allotted for the purchase of crackers was insufficient.

"We stopped bursting firecrackers seven years ago. It feels like we are burning money. I know how bad the smoke is because I am asthmatic. I spend that money instead on sweets," said captain Savita Chhillar of Sector 23.

Moreover, schools too are advising children against bursting crackers, keeping in mind the rising pollution levels in the city.


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