New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): The firecracker industry is suffering huge losses owing to the ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers put in place by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) till January 1, 2022 in the national capital.
Harjit Singh Chhabra, General Secretary, cracker association of Sadar Bazar said, "For the past three years, we are bearing losses due to these bans. They have spoiled the whole business by putting up a ban. When Supreme Court is saying that we can sell green crackers and also burst them, then why Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has put a ban. Is firecrackers the sole reason for pollution?"
"The trucks which commute to places during the night are considered as pollution-free. Delhi government says that alcohol will be available online, more wine shops will open. Are they generating revenue from it? I think people from the firecracker industry are giving less amount of money, and that is why they have banned crackers. People are dying of alcohol and other drug substances, they have no concern about banning them," he further added.
"It is easy to ban anything, but they have to see what impact it is creating. It's been three years that we haven't celebrated any festival with crackers on a large scale. You must have seen, the Delhi government has made a smoke tower at Connaught place. What benefit are we getting from it? So much money has been spent on the project. They have done nothing to stop stubble burning," Chabbra said.
"Banning firecrackers won't solve the problem. They must call for a meeting with industrialists and ask for a solution," he added.
Ramdas, one of the shopkeepers at Jama Masjid Cracker Market said, "We are affected the most after this decision was imposed. What is left for us now? Our business is finished. COVID has become one of the reasons to ban crackers. We just have work for two to three months which is now finished. One festival does not cause pollution. There are many reasons for the cause of pollution, but the government is after crackers. Our employment is finished. We only know what we are facing. Customers are also not coming now."
A complete ban includes even green firecrackers that had been allowed in the past. The decision was taken to curb air pollution in Delhi as well as to prevent another possible surge in COVID-19 cases, DPCC order stated.
Deepak Jain, another shopkeeper at Jama masjid cracker market, when asked about the ban on crackers, said, "COVID-19 has become 'an excuse' for them. When the government doesn't want to take a step for us, they give an excuse of COVID-19. The crackers which were circulating in the market were green crackers with which no sound and air pollution takes place. The crackers are made according to the guidelines given by the concerned authorities and then we buy them from the manufacturers. The government is just highlighting that they are doing this to curb pollution."
"We have been unemployed for the past four years. Last year, they gave us a licence and then they banned it. This year, they have shown mercy that they banned crackers beforehand. The labourers who used to help in towing crackers get employment from us. But now their work is also being affected," he said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a ban on firecrackers on September 15, saying it was "essential to save lives". (ANI)