CHANDIGARH: Wholesalers in the national capital are selling firecrackers in Punjab with deep discounts — up to 70 per cent — following a ban on them in Delhi and the NCR region, with the neighbouring state offering a two-hour window for the use of green firecrackers on Diwali and Gurpurb festivals.
“Due to the ban on firecrackers from November 9 to 30 by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), big traders from the national capital are clearing their stock by offering 60-70 per cent discounts to retailers in many cities across Punjab on the condition of payment by cash. The discounts on banned high-noise bombs and aerial crackers are even higher,’’ a wholesaler told this paper.
“The firecracker manufacturers of Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh are also offering a discount of around 50 per cent to retailers across the state,’’ the wholesaler added.Meanwhile, the Punjab Police recovered a huge quantity of firecrackers stored illegally at Mandi Gobindgarh and Sirhind.
“Punjab has a firecracker business worth more than Rs 50 crore. One of the region’s biggest cracker hubs, Kurali alone generates business of nearly Rs 8 crore every year. However, due to the government orders issued this year the trade has been seriously dampened.”
“While Punjab has given a two-hour relaxation to the burning of firecrackers, the Union Territory of Chandigarh has completely banned them, causing a loss of around Rs 8 crore to the firecracker trade,’’ said another retailer.
The Punjab government though has spared Amritsar, Jalandhar, Khanna and Ludhiana from a complete ban on firecrackers despite the fact that these cities fall in the poor air quality category classified by the National Green Tribunal.
Delhi Police on Wednesday arrested 10 people and registered 12 cases for sale of firecrackers in the city, officials said. Additional PRO Anil Mittal 1,769.89 kg of fire crackers were recovered .