The largest consumer market of Diwali fireworks in the country is not getting its fill this year.
Delhi’s demand for firecrackers this November is the highest in five years, say traders, but supply is scarce and prices are high.
Reasons? Commonwealth Games norms restricting the entry of commercial vehicles during the day and a major fire in a crackers factory in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi — the capital of India’s fireworks industry.
Yet another reason is the cut on the number of licences awarded to traders.
Only 800 licences have been given out by the Delhi Police licensing department in 2010 compared to 1100 last year.
In areas such as Greater Kailash, Gole Market and Lajpat Nagar traders have not been given the permission to sell crackers.
“It has been a big setback for our business,” said Rajendra Sharda, president of the GK M-Block market traders’ body.
Many shops that were selling crackers without a licence have been raided by the police in the past week.