Firecracker sales fizzle out in Hyderabad due to COVID-19 and rains
HYDERABAD: The sale of firecrackers in the State has seen a steep decline this year, when compared to last year. Terming it a 'black ’Diwali', wholesalers and retailers in the city claim that this is the first time in the past few decades that their businesses have fared so poorly.
In the capital city, sales of firecrackers have dipped by over 70-80 per cent, claim traders. Unlike last years, the usual hustle and bustle at many of the city's markets selling crackers, including Begum Bazar, Chandanagar, Kukatpally, Miyapur, Secunderabad and Osmangunj, was sorely missing this year ahead of Diwali.
Blaming poor sales on a double whammy of the ongoing pandemic and the recent floods, 55-year-old Sanjay Kumar Bhop from Shanti Fireworks in Osmangunj, says, "My family has been running this business for more than 100 years, and I have been taking care of the shop since I was 15. This is the first time that there is such a lull in the market just days before the festival."
Bhop said since the last eight months, due to the prohibition on weddings and social gatherings, the business suffered a huge blow. The recent floods further dampened their Dasara sales, and now, Diwali sales are down to only 10 per cent of the previous years. Traders, some of whom have been selling crackers for generations, claim there’s no hope for the firework business this year.
Terming 2020 as the worst year for business, Shyam Kumar from Standard Fireworks said, "We have so much stock but no customers, due to which we are selling crackers at reduced prices. We don’t know when we will reach normalcy."