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Curbs, third Covid wave fears may cast dark clouds over firecracker makers’ Deepavali

While most sectors are bouncing back post the second wave, the situation is bleak for manufacturers, dealers and sellers of crackers.

Published: 28th October 2021 06:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th October 2021 06:50 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Deepavali could be a muted affair this year as well. Increased environmental awareness and directions from courts, apart from the looming fear of an anticipated third wave of the pandemic, are expected to dent sales of firecrackers.  

While most sectors are bouncing back post the second wave, the situation is bleak for manufacturers, dealers and sellers of crackers. Usually, a week or two ahead of Deepavali, sales tend to take off, but this time around, anticipating a rise in Covid cases and government guidelines, sales are yet to begin. The rain has only made matters worse. 

Owing to the gloomy situation, many dealers and sellers said they have lost their source of livelihood, and are looking at alternate sources of income. “Many of my counterparts have shut shop because of the pandemic. Unlike other businesses, this sector is not bouncing back. Only 30 per cent of the capacity is being manufactured and sold. The norm of green crackers is also not being strictly adhered to,” said Jayaram Bhandarkar, a dealer in Bengaluru. 

Also, the stretch of Hosur Road, known for the sale of crackers round the clock, has seen a dip due to low demand. “Last year, after the sales started, restrictions and guidelines were announced at a later date, which created confusion. We do not want the same to repeat, and are hence, awaiting the government’s guidelines before we commence sales,” another dealer pointed out.

Meanwhile, a manufacturer, on condition of anonymity, said that as stress is being laid on green crackers, the government is unable to check on the accurate usage of barium nitrate. So dealers have noticed loopholes and are getting stickers of the green crackers logo pasted on their wares, and disposing them as green crackers. Not all samples are going to labs in Nagpur and Chennai for testing. This is another reason why sales are dipping, as the sellers are worried about raids.



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