Business Standard

Green firecrackers: Markets in Old Delhi wear 'dry' look as shopkeepers unable to sell old stock


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Market areas in Old Delhi wore a rather dry look Tuesday ahead of Diwali, as shopkeepers having old stock of firecrackers were not selling them due to restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court.
Firecrackers are sold mostly at markets in Sadar Bazar and Jama Masjid areas.
Devraj Baweja, president, Delhi Vyapari Mahasangh said, "A team of police came to Sadar Bazar area to inform the shopkeepers about the new guidelines after the apex court ruling early this month."

"Only one shop-owner is a permanent licencee for selling firecrackers throughout the year. So, that shop was shut. Others, anyway sell firecrackers only for few days during Diwali and their products also do not confirm to the new norms, so they are also not selling, so market is dry that way," he claimed.
Baweja said the number of permanent licencees for selling firecrackers have reduced. It was 72 in 2016 and 24 in 2017.
Among other restrictions, the apex court on October 23 had ruled that manufacture and sale of "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals would be allowed.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, however, modified its order which had fixed 8 PM to 10 PM as slot for bursting firecrackers on Diwali and other festivals, saying that authorities in states are at liberty to change the timings, but the duration will not exceed two hours a day.
The apex court also said that its directions on "green crackers" was meant only for Delhi-NCR.
The court was hearing a plea by the Tamil Nadu government which sought its nod for bursting of crackers on Diwali morning in accordance with the religious practices in the state.
The apex court on October 23 had said the noise and smoke emission limits of the crackers will have to be approved by the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO), under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Delhi Police officials said they have informed shopkeepers about the Supreme Court's ruling on firecrackers, which needs to be approved by the PESO.
"Since the shopkeepers have stocks that are old and not approved by PESO (as per new 'green firecrackers' norms), they are voluntarily not selling firecrackers," a senior police officer from North District said.
Sadar Bazar market falls under the North District and Jama Masjid market comes under the Central District.
Another officer from Central District said they have not issued any temporary licenses for selling firecrackers till now, while the permanent licence holders are not selling firecrackers.
Baweja said shopkeepers have already sent applications to police for getting approval under the new 'green' norm and awaiting communication from their side.
"The direction for green crackers was not for all the states. It was only for Delhi-NCR," the bench observed and said it would pass a formal order Wednesday.
The bench was told by the counsel appearing for the Tamil Nadu government that as per religious practices in south Indian states, the bursting of firecrackers on Diwali was done in the morning and they should be given permission to burst crackers between 4.30 AM and 6.30 AM.

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First Published: Oct 30 2018 | 9:30 PM IST

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