NEW DELHI: With just days to go for Diwali, festivities appear to have peaked in the capital’s wholesale market Sadar Bazar but it is almost impossible to find any firecrackers.
As Delhi’s air quality plummets to dangerous levels around Diwali every year, the Supreme Court in 2018 banned polluting firecrackers and ordered that only green firecrackers, which cause 30% less pollution, can be manufactured and sold.
Narendra Gupta, president of the Sadar Bazaar fireworks and general traders association, said only 12 people applied for licences this time out of which seven got the licences this week in the bazaar, which is also the city’s largest wholesale market for firecrackers.
“Earlier, around 80 licensed merchants would sell firecrackers. There aren’t enough green crackers and varieties in the market.
The sales are low. No one is ready to take the risk,” he said. There’s a shortage of supply as only less than 30 manufacturers across India have got the licence to manufacture green crackers, according to officials.
“We expect that the green crackers will be available in the market in enough quantity next year, which will also bring their cost down,” Gupta said.
(With PTI inputs)