Tirupati: No takers for crackers in pilgrim city
Restrictions on bursting of firecrackers, heavy rains and steep rise in prices of crackers takes away the Deepavali sheen
Tirupati: Deepavali, the Festival of Lights which everyone, the rich, middle-class and even the poor are keen to celebrate with much pomp, tuned to be a low-key affair this time due to various reasons.
The steep rise in the prices of firecrackers coupled with the restrictions for the sale of crackers and the limitations for the people by imposing timings for the display and bursting of fireworks and crackers saw the crackers sale dipping down. While, the loss of livelihood and employment by a large number of people who are hit hard and still to find jobs and the dampening weather due to continuous rains in the district added more to the slump in the cracker sale this time.
Raghu, a shopkeeper selling crackers, lamented that the traders are the worst hit as they are bearing the brunt of the sales of crackers coming down. "Borrowing money on loan we purchased the crackers making the payment two three months before expecting to sell them away for profit but out hopes are dashed to ground due to almost no takers
for the crackers this time.'' He said the restrictions on the sale and celebrations and the fear of health hazards particularly among those recovered from Covid added more to their woes, he explained with disappointment.
This time the number of shops for sale of crackers also visibly less with about 150 shops coming up in various places i.e. open places like school playgrounds permitted by police and revenue authorities in the pilgrim city and surrounding areas.
Gurumurthy, who lost employment and could find work after a gap of six months, said that this time no Deepavali for the people like us. "For the sake of children and in order to not to discontinue age old tradition I purchased crackers for a few hundred rupees for customary celebration," he said.
Not only the cracker sellers, the flower vendors and earthen lamp sellers also disappointed with steep fall in the demand.
Meanwhile, TTD authorities permitted the locals of Tirumala to get only soundless and noiseless crackers for Deepavali celebrations. There are about 3,000 families of locals residing on the hilltop temple town.