Ban on firecrackers sale : SC ruling spurs protest, traders says losses will run into crores

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The traders, who have been dealing in crackers for the last 20-25 years, claimed that their losses will run into crores.

 The news of the Supreme Court’s ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR this Diwali spread like wildfire in the narrow alleys of the Capital’s largest wholesale market, Sadar Bazar, with hundreds of traders terming it a “black day” for their business.The traders, who have been dealing in crackers for the last 20-25 years, claimed that their losses will run into crores. “As soon as the news came, the police started harassing us. They forcefully shut down our shops, saying that our licences were cancelled following the Supreme Court’s order,” said Ashish Wadhwa, a trader.

 

According to traders, around 500 temporary licences were issued in Delhi-NCR, of them 24 in Sadar Bazar. “The Supreme Court had imposed a ban on the sale of fireworks last year and then lifted it temporarily a fortnight ago. Why did they issue us the licences if they were planning to impose the ban right ahead of the festival? What will we do with the stocks now?” asked Harjit Singh Chhabra, head, Sadar Nishkarm Welfare Association.

“Every trader had procured stocks of at least Rs 5 lakh. That means crackers of around Rs 1.2 crore will go waste in Sadar Bazar itself. And the losses will be much higher if we account for the traders across Delhi-NCR,” he said.

A group of traders also held a protest in afternoon, carrying banners that read “Nashe se mar rahe hain log, pathakon se nahi (People are dying because of drugs, not crackers).” “If we are not able to sell the stocks, we will die of losses. We look forward throughout the year to the festive season to earn profits. Now, this order has ruined our festivities,” said Pammi Makhani, another trader.

“We are selling crackers not nuclear bombs. This is Hindustan and not Taliban where there are such bans on celebrating festivals,” he added.