53 green cracker shops have limited variety, customers displeasedUpdated: Oct 25, 2019, 20:30 IST
Ghaziabad: Thirteen-year-old Megha Verma arrived at Kavi Nagar Ramlila Ground on Friday to check out the green cracker shops that were opened after 53 licences were issued by the district administration in four locations — Kavi Nagar, Indirapuram, Vijay Nagar and Ghanta Ghar.
The teenager was, however, felt dejected as all shops had only different varieties of ‘anaar’ (flower pots) and ‘phuljhari’ (sparklers).
“I came to purchase rockets, sky shots and ground chakkras but only two types of fireworks were available. At least during the past years, there used to be a whole lot of variety in firecrackers. This time, however, there is no variety itself. The green crackers are less polluting but there has to be more variety. I am purchasing only a few crackers,” Verma, a resident of Maliwara, said.
Parents said on the insistence of children, they purchased some packets for Diwali despite the limited variety available.
“There is no choice for customers. It will be a dull Diwali this time. I will have a look again on Diwali day to see if there are any more varieties in the stock. I hope green crackers help reduce pollution, which is a major concern,” Nishant Sinha, a Nehru Nagar resident, said.
The traders who were issued licences set up shops at four different locations in Ghaziabad with stocks of only two varieties.
“There are no bombs, rockets and sky shots. Stockists say more varieties will be added next year. We applied for a licence this time as we had to continue our business. Otherwise, we will not be able to get a licence next year,” Rahul Garg, a trader in Kavi Nagar, said.
In wake of rising air pollution the Supreme Court, last year, had directed the use of only green crackers with improved chemical formula that reduce emission by at least 30%. The crackers – developed by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) lab in Nagpur — are low sound-and light-emitting firecrackers with at least 30% reduction in emissions at no extra cost.
“Till a few years ago, we were selling over 200-250 different varieties of crackers. On Friday, only few customers arrived — some to know about green crackers and other to see what they look like. We bought stock from Hapur but availability is an issue. The stockists have told us that more stock will arrive soon. We are keeping our fingers crossed,” said Mohit Khandelwal, another trader.
The packets of green crackers have QR-codes with ‘CSIR-NEERI’ prominently etched on them.
“The rate of the green crackers is almost the same as traditional ones. But we are not offering much discount as sales are fewer this time,” Dharmendra Kumar, a trader, said.
City magistrate Yashwardhan Srivastava said the administration has issued only 53 licences this time and they will be using crackers manufactured by 28 companies as per a list given by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation.
“The traders will procure stock from authorised stockists and they have submitted an affidavit that they will not be selling any other crackers. Our teams will keep a check,” he added.