Amidst the double whammy of corona pandemic and pollution crisis the firecracker sale in State capital this Diwali dropped almost by 50 per cent, the local traders say. The firecracker wholesalers and retailers in the city have termed it a ‘Black Diwali’ owing to the steep decline in sales this year.
Unlike last years, the usual hustle and bustle at many of the city’s markets selling crackers, including Bairagarh, Kolar, Old City and others, was sorely missing this year ahead of Diwali.
Blaming poor sales on the ongoing pandemic and last minute uncertainty in licensing cracker retail shops, 55-year-old Kashif Siddiqui, a wholesale firecracker trader says, “My family has been running this business for more than 70 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.”
“The business has already suffered a huge blow due to prohibition on weddings and social gatherings, since the past eight months,” he adds, claiming that there was no hope for the fireworks business this year. Bursting of firecrackers release a lot of smoke and other pollutants into the air and it can stay in the atmosphere for long in the winter air. The pollution could have an adverse effect on the lungs and health of COVID-19 patients. The environmentalists too have warned the Air Quality Index (AQI) to touch over 150 in November due to an increase in pollution led by crackers.”