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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

No green Diwali stock in Kurali cracker market this time

Green crackers are environment friendly as they have low noise, no flame, no harmful pollution-causing chemicals, but emit a lot of light.

chandigarh Updated: Oct 21, 2019 01:04 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Hindustantimes
         

The wholesale dealers of crackers in Kurali say they have not procured any stock of green crackers as there is no demand, even as Diwali is just a week away.

Green crackers are environment friendly as they have low noise, no flame, no harmful pollution-causing chemicals, but emit a lot of light.

Famous for its wholesale rates, the cracker market in Kurali, the biggest in the region, supplies to authorised as well as unauthorised dealers in Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and various parts of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

“When there is no demand for green crackers, why would anyone procure them? The sales of traditional crackers, however, are picking up,” said Ashok Bathla, a wholesale dealer in Kurali, whose family has been into cracker selling for the past three generations.

“There is still no clear definition of green crackers, and there are not many suppliers in the market. Traders order as per the demand. We are yet to get any order for green crackers,” he said. 

‘Green campaigns affecting sales’

Ashok Kumar, who has been supplying crackers to the tricity for the past 20 years, said, “The sale of crackers is witnessing a decrease every year. Children are losing interest owing to schools holding anti-cracker campaigns, due to which there is a dent in the market.”

On the other hand, Rachit Sood, a retailer, said, “With growing awareness about noise pollution, customers prefer sparklers. There is more demand for fountain, spinners and full shots remain the favourites even today.”

Illegal stalls mushroom

The Mohali administration had issued 44 temporary licences to cracker traders in the district, of which only four were issued in Kurali. However, the Kurali market still remains unregulated as there are only about 10 licensed wholesalers and 500 unregistered dealers. 

One can spot several illegal vendors selling crackers, especially in the evening, on the Badali road in Kurali, even as two wholesale shops were sealed following a surprise checking on Friday for lack of valid licence.  

Driving through Kurali, one can spot several ushers hired by wholesale dealers, holding a flashing stick in hand and calling out to attract purchasers.

“The sales have picked up slowly as retailers, with licence or without, are selling crackers,” said Sahil Sood, a retailer, adding that the cap on the number of retail licences had hit the business the most.