Firecracker sales see dip in Mumbai despite sellers having less stock this yearUpdated: Oct 26, 2019, 00:46 IST
With Diwali just a day away, firecracker sellers at Mohammed Ali Road are hoping for a last-minute surge in sales. Despite less stock than usual, the sellers are struggling to find buyers in the city.
A year after the Supreme Court (SC) mandated that only “green” firecrackers may be sold, it turned out that only six of the 1,070 firecracker units at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu had the necessary licence. Sivakasi accounts for more than 90% of the country’s firecracker production. The SC’s decision led to the fireworks industry practically shutting shop. Ganesan Panjurajan, director of Vinayak Soni Fireworks Group, estimated production decreased by 40% as a result.
This year, traders at Mohammed Ali Road said that they have received less stock from Sivakasi and at rates that are higher by 10-15%. “With a 5% increase in the cost of regular crackers, we haven’t bothered affecting customers, but for fancy products, rates have increased. Since we have fewer crackers in the market this year, we hope we won’t suffer losses,” said Minesh Mehta, a trader. The cost of basic firecrackers, like sparklers, ranges from ₹70 to ₹500, whereas ‘fancy’ fireworks, like rockets, cost between ₹50 and ₹800.
Earnings from firecrackers have been dipping over the years. “Day by day there is greater awareness among people about environment. Earlier, people would purchase firecrackers for entertainment. But, now there are other sources. So, the demand is more in village areas,” said Navinchandra Chhadwa, president, Fireworks Dealers’ Welfare Association. He estimates the sale of firecrackers has declined by around 50% in the last five to seven years.