A sudden demand for re-banning of foreign firecrackers, Chinese-made in particular, by leaders of different political parties including the saffron brigade apparently for China’s support to Pakistan after the Uri terror attack has surprised state’s firecracker dealers as the ruling BJP had already banned the import, possession and sale of same products on the health grounds in 2014.
Dealers are surprised over ‘ignorance’ of the saffron brigade and political parties about the ban on sale of foreign crackers especially Chinese. “Political leaders and the saffron brigade are giving a patriotic colour to the ban of foreign firecrackers by spreading the words that China supported Pakistan after Uri attack so give them a blow with the ban. But they are unaware of the fact that illegal import, sale and possession of foreign firecrackers were banned by minister of state for commerce and industry Nirmala Sitharaman in October 2014 for health and environment reasons,” said a dealer.
Two years ago, Chinese firecrackers were banned due to presence of sulphur which is dangerous and hazardous for both environment and users. “Leaders of the same party (Bharatiya Janata Party) are demanding ban and appreciating the officers who are imposing it. In the capital city in 2015, administration had shown strictness on sale of foreign firecrackers especially Chinese, so this year hardly any seller will take risk of purchasing firecrackers of foreign brand,” said another dealer.
“On every alternative day, some so-called activists visit the Bairagarh fire crackers market and demand Chinese firecrackers to destroy them in protest. Now, we are deciding to put a board-- reading Chinese firecrackers are totally banned for the last two years,” he added.
In Bhopal, most of the firecrackers are bought from Sivakasi and sparkler sticks from Indore and Jabalpur so the ban will hardly affect city dealers’ business.
“In Indian firecrackers, environment-friendly barium nitrate is used in place of sulphur. The barium nitrate doesn’t cause any reaction to users’ skin, so for the past few years we are selling only Indian products,” said Daulat Ram, president of Fire Crackers Association of Bairagarh.
“The use of explosive chemical elements including sulphur or sulphurate is totally banned in India. Last year, the administration acted tough on sellers of firecrackers. This year too, we received a letter from the department and we are acting very strict against any possession and sale of foreign crackers,” said a senior administrative officer.