Kakinada: Green crackers burning hole in people's pockets
The high prices of ingredients such as sulphur, coal, nitrate shoot up prices of crackers and production reduced by 60 per cent this year, says a trader
Kakinada: The prices of various firecrackers are out of reach to common people in East Godavari district.
The officials concerned are not monitoring properly at the Diwali stalls and also not curbing the prices of the crackers. People are saying that there is no supervision of officials to control prices of crackers which are being sold at the exorbitant rates.
The government has stipulated that only green crackers should alone be used and traditional crackers are not allowed. The common people are unable to distinguish between them. Even the officials have no understanding regarding the difference between firecrackers and green crackers.
Kakinada Municipal Corporation (KMC) has given permission for Diwali stalls at two places -- Mc Lauren High School grounds (90 shops) and Boat Club (23 stalls)-- in Kakinada.
Wholesale dealer Y Satyanarayana Murthy told 'The Hans India' that there may not be encouraging sales of the firecrackers in view of the pandemic as well as incessant rains. Moreover, the manufacturers are not coming forward to make the firecrackers on a large scale as was the practice last year. He said that the rates of the crackers have shot up in view of the high prices of ingredients such as sulphur, coal, nitrate etc. The production reduced by 60 percent for this Diwali festival.
A vendor Kameswar Rao expressed grave concern that in the event of people not buying the crackers during the season, they may incur a huge loss and nobody will come to their rescue. He said that they have to spend Rs 80,000 towards installation of shops, salaries and licenses for this brief period.
They acquired Diwali crackers three months ago and have been eagerly waiting to sell them during this season with a marginal benefit. Unfortunately, owing to the restrictions they are apprehensive of getting any profit at all. He advised the customers not to use hand sanitizers while bursting crackers and lighting diyas or candles, as they are highly inflammable.
District Superintendent of Police M Ravindranath Babu said that people should strictly follow the directions and guidelines issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and government to celebrate Diwali between 8 pm and 10 pm and use only green crackers.
District Fire Officer Ch Ratna Babu said that they don't have a clear awareness about the green crackers.
Subramanyam, a resident of Kakinada, said that a common man cannot differentiate between green crackers and chemical crackers. The government has not created much awareness about the green crackers. He also wondered that when chemical crackers are available in abundance, the government has failed to control their sale.
A consumer B Snehasri rued that the rates of the crackers are very high and very few people would be able to buy them this year.