Bowing to the demand of traders, the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) has agreed to allow retailers, who already have licences, to set up fire cracker stalls in front of their respective shops.
The authorities had earlier identified three sites - Circus Ground in Sector 17, Exhibition Ground in Sector 34, and Circus Ground in Manimajra - for sale of crackers and had imposed a ban on setting up of stalls in other parts of the city.
With the decision, the vendors, who are already having licences to sell crackers, can set up their stalls in front of their shops, while new vendors will be permitted to set up their stalls at three identified sites.
The municipal corporation (MC), which had mooted the proposal of restricting the sale of crackers at three sites, will now write to the estate office for taking final decision on the issue.
A delegation of Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) and cracker retailers accompanied by councillors, Saurabh Joshi and Arun Sood, called upon deputy commissioner and MC commissioner. The traders said they neither had extra staff to handle sales at two sites nor customers would like to go to a far off place with heavy storage of crackers.
Earlier, the decision to allow stalls at three sites was taken to ensure that no untoward incident takes place and to streamline the sale of hazardous crackers.
Vendors have been setting up stalls in even thickly populated areas such as sectors 15, 16, 22, 23 and 26, Dadumajra, Maloya, Palsora, Burail and Kajheri for the past several years. Several vendors also flouted the norms and other restrictions imposed by the administration by encroaching upon open spaces meant for free movement of the public. Many vendors also do not comply with the guidelines pertaining to maintaining gap between stalls.
Charanjiv Singh, president, CBM, thanked the officials and assured them on behalf of traders that all safety steps would be taken as per the norms. Diwakar Sahoonja, chief patron, CBM, appealed to the traders of the city to distribute leaflets on safe Diwali among residents.