Demand for firecrackers up this Deepavali: Traders
With the festival of lights around the corner, many people from the city are crossing the State border to buy crackers. Several shops on Hosur Road, on the other side of the border, are seeing brisk business.
Srinivasa B.S., a resident of Sarjapura, drove down to Hosur along with his friend to buy crackers for Deepavali. “This is the first time I am coming to Hosur for crackers. Not many cracker shops have started selling in the city. We wanted to stock up, because closer to the festival, the prices are likely to be higher,” he said.
Most of the vehicles parked in front of the line of cracker shops on Hosur Road bore Bengaluru registration numbers, he said. “Each shop had at least around 20 people from Bengaluru,” he added.
According to Madan Kumar of Sri Chakravarthy Traders in K.R. Puram, the price of crackers had increased by around 10% this year. He claimed that following the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, not many citizens wanted to splurge on crackers like earlier.
“Many people have gone back to their hometowns since organisations have allowed work from home. This may also have an impact on our business this year,” he said.
Ram from Vaishnavi Crackers Shop on Bagalur Main Road was busy getting his shop ready for the cracker sale from Tuesday.
“Last year, we were in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic and people were hesitant to even celebrate. The situation has improved this year and more people are out and about. We are hopeful of good business this time around, as we are getting enquiries about crackers every day,” he said.
Due to decrease in production of crackers and frequent rains in the neighbouring State, where most of the cracker manufacturing happens, the demand is higher this year, said Manjunath Hariharapura of Cracker Bazaar, Garepalya, near Silk Board.
Recently, the State Government issued guidelines for the celebration of Deepavali. The guidelines specify that only green crackers will have to be sold by traders and burst by citizens. These green crackers are believed to be less harmful and polluting, compared to the conventional ones.
Mr. Kumar said that most cracker companies, such as Standard and others, adhere to the strict standards and protocols set by the centre. Concurring, Mr. Hariharapura said that the crackers manufactured by these major companies are certified as being green crackers.
The State Government guidelines have also permitted only licenced cracker shops to stay open only from November 1 to 10. To set up the temporary shops, the traders are required to get permission from the police. This year, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike had identified open spaces where these temporary cracker shops could be set up and shared the same with the police, sources in the civic body said.