Green or chemical crackers: Confusion grips people as Diwali nears

Diwali crackers stall
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Diwali crackers stall at Mc Lauren High School grounds in Kakinada

Highlights

  • A common man can’t differentiate between green and chemical crackers, says a customer
  • Stall owners worried about their losses as they had purchased stocks three or four months ago
  • Govt failure to bring awareness among people on green crackers flayed
  • Even officials are ignorant on how to differentiate between green and chemical crackers

Kakinada: Kakinada Municipal Corporation (KMC) has given the permission for Diwali stalls at two places -- Mc Lauren High School grounds (42 shops) and Boat Club (10 shops). KMC Commissioner Swapnil Dinakar Pundkar said they have given permission for trade licence holders and didn't hike the charges.

He said that consumers purchasing green crackers must maintain six feet social distance while standing in a queue at the shops. The government has permitted bursting of only green crackers for two hours from 8pm to 10 pm on Diwali. People are allowed to burst crackers instead of chemical crackers.

A vendor Ramesh expressed grave concern that in the event of people not buying the crackers during the season, they may incur a huge loss and nobody would come to the rescue them to mitigate the hardship or loss. He said that they have to spend Rs 80,000 towards installation of shops, salaries and licenses for this brief period. Moreover, they acquired Diwali crackers three months ago and have been eagerly waiting to sell them during this season with a marginal benefit. But unfortunately, owing to the restrictions they are apprehensive of getting any profit at all. He advised the purchasers not to use hand sanitizers while bursting crackers and lighting diyas or candles, as they are highly inflammable.

District Collector D Muralihdar Reddy stated that people should strictly follow the directions and guidelines issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and celebrate Diwali between 8 pm to 10 pm using only green crackers. He said the State government had issued the directives to protect public health in view of the risk of death posed by fireworks to people recovering from the current Covid-19 conditions and to sensitive people at risk of contracting the disease.

Additional Commissioner Naga Narasimha Rao said that they don't have a clear comprehensive awareness regarding green crackers.

Significantly, due to the restriction on bursting of chemical crackers, prices of firecrackers have gone up. A consumer, G Phanendra Kumar said that the prices of the crackers are very high and no common man would be able to buy them. He further commented that the government should monitor and check the prices of these crackers in view of their exploitation during the session.

Bhamidipati Bhaskara Sharma, resident of Kakinada remarked that people may not buy green crackers but many choose chemical crackers as it is their customary purchase. "A common man can't differentiate between green and chemical crackers. The government has not publicized much about the green crackers. When chemical crackers are available in abundance, the government has failed to control their sale. How can the public purchase the green crackers," he questioned.

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