CUTTACK: Unusually high prices of fireworks have taken the sparkle out of Diwali celebration in the city this year. The skyrocketing price is mainly attributed to restrictions imposed by police on opening the stalls on roadside and near residential areas.
“I had gone to purchase fireworks from stalls set up at Bali Yatra ground but the items liked by my children have gone beyond my budget,” said Amulya Pradhan, a resident of Tulasipur. He ended up purchasing a few palm crackers to be used during the rituals of ‘Bada Badua Daka’ and a few other items like ‘Sutuli’ and ‘Dhap Bati’.
Like Amulya, Jharana Gochhayat, a sweeper of Medical Colony had to face the same situation. “I could not afford to buy different varieties of fireworks demanded by my three children,” she said.
Last year, the price of Dhap Bati cost `1 to `5 according to size. This year, it ranged from `2 to `10. Similarly, a bunch of 100 palm crackers, which used to cost `50 to `80, is now available at `120-200.
According to sources, 297 persons had applied to commissionerate police for licence to open fireworks stalls in and around the city. But the police have so far issued licence to only 100 stalls. Last year, 411 stalls were set up. Besides, hundreds of locals manufacturers were engaged in selling their products by hawking.
Due to restrictions on opening the stalls, they had to sell their products to the wholesalers and pretty traders at throwaway prices. Taking the advantage of the restriction, the wholesalers and the pretty traders have increased the prices of the fireworks.
“We are bound to sell the fireworks at higher cost as we had to pay more towards purchasing the same and also obtaining the licence,” said a stall owner.