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SC cracker sale ban hits Gurgaon retailers, wholesalers

Traders said the apex court did not consider their livelihood concerns before delivering the judgement

gurgaon Updated: Oct 09, 2017 22:48 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times
Ban on firecrackers,Pollution,Gurgaon
Firecracker licences in Gurgaon, which used to number around 500, on Diwali, shrunk to 200 last year. This year, not a single cracker licence has been issued.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Wholesalers and retail shopkeepers selling crackers in Gurgaon expressed shock over the Supreme Court’s decision to ban sale of crackers in Delhi/NCR on Monday.

Cracker traders, who make anywhere between ₹15 crore and ₹20 crore on Diwali, went into a huddle in the light of the Supreme Court ban and held discussions on their future course of action. They said they have decided to continue with cracker sales for now, as they not received a copy of the apex court verdict as yet.

Firecracker licences in Gurgaon, which used to number around 500, on Diwali, shrunk to 200 last year. This year, not a single cracker licence has been issued.

People involved in the cracker business have already invested huge amounts of money in stocking up on supplies for Diwali sale. They said that through small traders will still manage to clear their stock, they will have to bear the brunt of the cracker ban.

“Business was down in the last two years and we had our fingers crossed this year as well. Although we feared losses, we hoped our livelihood concerns will be considered. We are feeling cheated after the verdict,” Arun Sharma, a cracker-seller at Sadar market, Gurgaon, said.

“Many people have left this business in the light of dwindling sales. Many who started cracker started cracker business after taking loans are unable to repay,” Dharmender Singh, a wholesaler, said.

Even a couple of years ago, cracker traders posted good profit, but since pollution awareness campaigns and protests over worsening air quality gathered steam, business went south as cracker sales hit a slump.

“Our business is in dire straits. Diwali was the only time when we made profit, but cracker sales have been down over the last few years. The Supreme Court sadly didn’t give a thought to our livelihood before passing this judgment,” Ashok Kumar Saini, owner of Star Night Fireworks, Gurgaon, said.

Read I Gurgaon resident starts ‘burst hunger, not cracker’ campaign

There is no cracker factory in Gurgaon. They are manufactured in Jhajjar and Rohtak and the city draws additional supplies from down south as well.

“Now, we have no clue what to do with our stock. We are under immense pressure to post sales and have to visit other cities (outside NCR) to sell the stock and that too, for cheap,” Amit Nagpal, owner of Nagpal and Son’s Fireworks, said.

“At this rate, firecrackers will soon be history and the coming generations would only hear stories about them,” Sanjay Kumar Sharma, owner of Bharti Fireworks, said.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 22:46 IST