After HC order, only 56 cracker traders to get licences in Chandigarh
The Chandigarh administration on Thursday issued around 360 licenses, which include 280 to the old ones and 80 to new traders, which now stand cancelledpunjab Updated: Oct 14, 2017 13:11 IST
In a blow to cracker traders, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the UT administration to issue only 20% licences as compare to last year for setting up shops at the designated sites ahead of Diwali.
This means, of the 280 traders in the city, only 56 will get licences. The UT administration on Thursday issued around 360 licenses, which include 280 to the old ones and 80 to new traders, which now stand cancelled. The UT had also increased the number of sites from eight to 17.
- After cancelling the 360 licences issued on Thursday, the UT administration will invite fresh applications and conduct a draw of lots at the deputy commissioner’s office in Sector 17 at 5pm on Monday.
As per the high court (HC) directions, the UT administration will invite fresh applications on Monday and conduct a draw of lots at the deputy commissioner’s office in Sector 17 at 5pm.
The process will be carried out under the supervision of the deputy commissioner, as he will not be delegating powers to any other officer. Additional deputy commissioner Rajeev Gupta said anyone can apply for a fresh license. On reducing the number of sites again, he said the decision will be taken on Saturday.
‘Left in the lurch’
Meanwhile, cracker traders alleged harassment, as they say they have already bought the stock.
“We are being harassed for the past one month,” said Devinder Gupta, president of the cracker dealers’ association. “We were not allowed to set up stalls in front of our shops. Now, the HC has served a big blow. Most of us have already bought the stock and we do not know what to do. We are consulting lawyers if we can go for a review petition in court.”
Traders said their business was already hit due to demonetisation and the goods and services tax. With just five days left for Diwali, they said they are left in the lurch. “What’s the use of 17 sites now?” said Gupta.
Traders have been selling crackers at Sectors 7, 15, 22, 23, 26, 24, Burail, Kajheri, Maloya and Palsora villages for the past many years.
Admn to impose cracker ban
To ensure strict implementation of the Punjab and Haryana high courts order allowing the bursting of crackers only on the Diwali day, that too between 6:30pm and 9:30pm, the UT administration will be forming several teams comprising administrative and police officials. “We are holding a meeting on Saturday to draw a plan and also decide penal action against violators,” said UT additional deputy commissioner Rajeev Gupta.