Crackers to light up Vijayawada today

Makeshift crackers shop are being arranged on the occasion of Diwali festival at Swaraj Maidam in Vijayawada on Tuesday   Photo: Ch Venkata Mastan
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Makeshift crackers shop are being arranged on the occasion of Diwali festival at Swaraj Maidam in Vijayawada on Tuesday Photo: Ch Venkata Mastan

Highlights

  • Stalls have been set up at Swarajya Maidan and sale of firecrackers to begin today
  • They have paid Rs 41,000 for permission and another Rs 43,000 towards the shop rent

Vijayawada: With only two days to go for Diwali, traders set up makeshift stall for sale of crackers in the city on Tuesday evening.

The VMC and the Police department gave permission only on Tuesday for the sale of crackers. Installing makeshift tents and payment of license fee are expensive affair this year compared to the previous year. The sale of fireworks will begin on Wednesday and will continue on Thursday also.

The traders paid Rs 41,000 to the VMC to get permission and a fee of Rs 43,000 towards the shop rent at Swarajya Maidan.

Around 65 shops were set up at Swarajya Maidan, the biggest crackers centre in the city. The traders buy stocks worth Rs 3 to 5 lakh for the sale.

The traders feel that the permission should have given at least four days before the Diwali festival so that they could get sufficient time for the sale. The government is giving permission just for two or three days before the festival. If the stocks are not sold, they will have to sell the same next year. V Raghava Rao, president of the Vijayawada Retail Fireworks Dealers Association, said compared to the last year the expenses increased this year for installation of shops and payment of fee to get permission from the government. He said each trader spends Rs1.5 lakh to Rs1.8 lakh for installation of makeshift shops, payment of rent and fee to the government. The fireworks traders have to follow fire safety norms and maintain sand and water stocks to extinguish the fire, in case of mishap. Ten feet of distance is already maintained between the shops at the PWD grounds. On the other hand, the prices of fireworks increased by 10 to 20 per cent this year compared to the last year.

K Ajay said weather may create problems and the traders will suffer in case of rain on Wednesday and Thursday. So far there is no sign of rain till Tuesday night in the city.

Vijayawada fireworks traders buy stocks from the super stockists in Tadepalligudem, Ongole, Mangalagiri and other places just before the festival. Storing of crackers is another big problem in the city. It is risky to store the fireworks in the residential or commercial areas. The traders have to store in the godowns in the remote areas. The traders started getting stocks on Tuesday night and will be ready by Wednesday for the sale.

Due to the impact of Covid, the Diwali crackers sale decreased last year and traders worry that they may experience the same situation this year too.

As per the Supreme Court orders, the bursting of crackers will be allowed from 8 pm to 10 pm only. Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board has already issued statement in this regard.

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