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Fireworks retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers say ban will hit livelihood

The major impact of the apex court ban will be borne by the traditional fireworks’ manufacturers and sellers at Farrukhnagar.

noida Updated: Oct 09, 2017 22:33 IST
Peeyush Khandelwal
Peeyush Khandelwal
Hindustan Times
Noida news,NCR news,Noida magistrate
Firecracker retailers protest against Supreme Court decision to ban on sale of fire crackers, at Sector 19.(Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

The Supreme Court ban on sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR may reduce air pollution but it is likely to hit the livelihood of hundreds of retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers in the Ghaziabad district.

As per the estimates of the fireworks manufacturers, the prime manufacturing hub of Farrukhnagar-Asalatpur in Loni amassed a business of nearly ₹2 crore every Diwali season, which lasted till the end of wedding season in winters. A similar figure is estimated for the sales by retailers and the wholesalers.

“Last year, we sold our stock but nearly one fourth was leftover. We hoped that it will be sold this year but the ban order has completely ruled out any sale of the old stock. In the interim order in September, there was some hope that we will be able to sell some part of the stock. The dealers and the wholesalers had purchased stocks in anticipation. But it has now turned into a major loss,” said Ankit Agarwal, a fireworks distributor at Kavi Nagar.

It is estimated that a wholesaler invests nearly ₹8-10 lakh every Diwali season in procurement of fireworks. In Ghaziabad, the administration issued nearly 590 temporary licenses in 2016. Apart from the licenses, the administration also has nearly 138 permanent licenses which are given permissions for manufacturing as well as sales.

“The manufacturing is already banned as per Supreme Court order of last year. The sales will be banned as per Monday’s order. We are yet to get the copy of the order but we will strictly enforce the court directions. The sub divisional magistrates have been sent to their respective areas to shut down any sales or shops with immediate effect,” said Ritu Maheshwari, district magistrate, Ghaziabad.

The major impact of the apex court ban will be borne by the traditional fireworks’ manufacturers and sellers at Farrukhnagar.

“Nearly 2,500 families in several villages have already been affected. Since last year’s ban, we were hoping that this year will bring relief. However, we are doomed. We cannot even sell our old stocks outside NCR as the traders there will not allow our entry in their market. Now, even there is no time left to get the new licenses made in outside NCR areas,” said Asif Ali, fireworks manufacturers at Farrukhnagar.

A delegation of retailers from Indirapuram, Vasundhara, Kavi Nagar, Ghanta Ghar and other areas submitted a memorandum to the district officials on Monday.

“The court order in September gave us relief and we invested and ordered stocks from the wholesalers. Now, with the ban order on Monday, our investments have been stuck up. On an average, a retailer invests ₹4-5 lakh every season. All our investment is now stuck up as we cannot take stocks and wholesalers will not return money,” said Yogesh Gupta, a member of Ghanta Ghar fireworks’ market.

The retailers said they will approach the other associations in Delhi-NCR and try to move Supreme Court for relief.

“We just want that our stocks should be allowed to be sold so that we can minimise losses. Even if we move court, it will take time and Diwali is already round the corner. In case of no relief, this Diwali will be black for us,” said Ratnesh Kumar, another retailer from Kavi Nagar market.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 22:33 IST