With just a day left for Diwali, markets in Noida are buzzing with shoppers buying diyas, candles, firecrackers and a lot of other festival items.
Firecrackers are one of the favourite items on the shopping list of children.
Around 100 makeshift stalls have been set up in Noida’s Sector 33 Ramlila Ground for selling crackers. Another firework makeshift market, with 40 stalls, has been set up at Maharishi Ashram in Bhangel on the Dadri-Surajpur-Chhalera (DSC) road.
Shopkeepers said unlike the past, buyers this year are preferring Indian crackers over the Chinese ones due to an increased awareness about environment.
“The new trend this year is that people are buying India-made firecrackers. Last Diwali, Chinese firecrackers were in huge demand. Now children are so aware about pollution and they ask for crackers that cause less pollution,” said Rakesh Kumar, who is selling crackers in Sector 33.
The market in this sector is attracting buyers from posh areas like Sectors 23, 25, 26, 27, 33, 35, 51, 52, 53 and 41, among others, because it is located in the heart of city and has ample parking space.
Meanwhile, like many other items, prices of firecrackers have also gone up this year.
“A set of six bombs is costing Rs. 300 this time. Last year, we sold the same kind of crackers at a price of Rs. 250. The demand of crackers that produce light and cause lesser pollution is high this time. This year, we have procured crackers that cause less pollution. Last year, even we did not care much about pollution,” said Dinesh Kumar, who has a stall in the Bhangel market.
Some of the crackers which are in high demand this year are ‘anar’, pistol, ‘chakri’.
“It was a good start in terms of the sale of fireworks on Dhanteras today. But we expect huge rush on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have all kinds of Indian crackers to meet the demand this Diwali. Last year, we had purchased a huge quantity of Chinese fireworks,” said Kumar.
“Garland cracker is a favourite among both the children and adults because it lasts longer,” said Kumar.
Meanwhile, to avoid the traffic and chaos in the market, some residents in Noida are also trying online portals selling Diwali items.
“Because I do not have an off before Diwali, I have ordered most of the items, including firecrackers online,” Garima Dobriyal, a city resident who works for an MNC.
The situation is the same in Ghaziabad as well. Markets in the city are abuzz with new varieties of crackers which are attracting not only children but adults as well.
The latest ones to hit the market are low-sound crackers, which shopkeepers say are being preferred over the noisy ones.
The preference for ‘low-sound’ crackers is being attributed to rising awareness among people about the high pollution levels.
Shopkeepers said even children are quite aware and are buying crackers that make less noise.
“Until last year, the demand for crackers making whistling sounds like anaar, chakri and rockets was high. However, this year, customers are asking for crackers that do not make sound at all. So, we have brought light-emitting crackers,” said Asif, a seller at Sector-4 Vaishali market.
Some of the new “soundless” crackers available in the market are butterfly crackers (these emit sparkles in a circular pattern like butterflies), parachute rockets (goes up in the sky and comes down with a parachute), miyan-biwi crackers (a set of two crackers which collide with each other to give the look of a fighting couple) and photo-flash crackers (a soundless cracker that emits lights for three-five minutes).
“These creative crackers are a hit among children and adults as they produce less sound,” said Yogesh Singh, a cracker seller at the Sector 15 Vasundhara market.
People also said they are buying crackers that produce less sound.
“My daughters do not like the sounds of crackers. So we have asked the shopkeeper to give us crackers that do not make much noise. We are buying sparklers, anaar and chakri. We have also bought butterfly cracker,” said Sanjeev Singh, a resident.