This year city residents will not find cracker stalls in their nearby markets as the Chandigarh administration has identified three sites for sale of crackers and imposed ban on setting up of stalls in other parts of the city.
For buying crackers, the residents will have to visit the Circus Ground in Sector 17, Exhibition Ground in Sector 34 and Circus Ground in Manimajra. The authorities have issued directions to shopkeepers to only put up fire cracker stalls at these defined sites.
UT deputy commissioner (DC) Mohammed Shayin said, “As of now, we have decided that stalls will be put up at these three sites only. The decision has been taken to ensure that no untoward incident takes place and to streamline the sale of hazardous crackers.”
“Earlier, crackers stalls were scattered all over the city, which posed a great risk to safety of shopkeepers and customers. It was very difficult for us to manage things,” said the DC.
The authorities have also taken several other precautionary measures, including the deployment of fire tenders and personnel on each site.
Sub-divisional magistrate (central) Prince Dhawan said the message of not giving permission for setting up of stalls at other places in the city had been conveyed to the municipal corporation.
Earlier, vendors were allowed to set up stalls in even thickly populated areas such as Sectors 15, 16, 22, 23 and 26, Dadumajra, Maloya, Palsora, Burail and Kajheri. Several vendors also flouted the norms and other restrictions imposed by the administration by encroaching upon the open spaces meant for the free movement of the public. Many vendors did not comply with the guidelines pertaining to maintaining gap between stalls.
Last year, the deputy commissioner had issued order for shifting firecracker shops from the grain market in Sector 26 after the vendors were found violating the norms.
The DC has also constituted three teams to check illegal sale of crackers. The teams headed by the SDM (south), the SDM (central) and SDM (east) are being directed to carry out surprise checking in different sectors and villages of the city. One executive magistrate, one inspector of enforcement wing and one inspector of the MC will be attached with each team for the raids.
Lauding the effort, Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu termed the decision as step in the right direction. “The administration should have done this long before as unorganised sale of crackers pose risk to safety of city residents.”