Many from city head to Tamil Nadu border to purchase Deepavali firecrackers
Vendors holding placards offering huge discount on purchase of firecrackers is a common sight on National Highway 7 as you approach Nerallur and Attibele on the outskirts of the city. The number of shops, all decked up with fancy lights, increase as you proceed further and reach Hosur on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
If the placards proclaiming “80 per cent discount” and “90 + 20 per cent discount” fail to catch the customer’s eye, the vendors rush to your vehicle and escort you to their stall. Once there, you will be spoilt for choice as each stall has on display at least 70 varieties of firecrackers. Some of the “popular” firecrackers this year, according to the vendors, include the ‘King Kong Bomb’, ‘Sony Terminators’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Monalisa’ and the ‘Star Wars’ firecrackers. “It is amazing as there are so many varieties here. I dropped by to look but I think I will end up buying the 240 shots firecracker that costs Rs. 2,500,” said a customer travelling from Bangalore to Chennai.
While most vendors stated that they were offering “huge discounts”, only one vendor, Guruvaraj A., admitted that it was possible for them to offer a discount because of the tax relief in Tamil Nadu.
“Firecrackers are being sold at rates that are 10 per cent less than those in the city. But the quality of the firecrackers here is better and we offer a wider variety .”However, customers also point out that the vendors in Hosur increase rates and then offer “huge discounts”. For instance, a pack of 10 flowerpot firecrackers is priced at Rs. 1,554, but costs Rs. 321 after discount.
Vijay K., a businessman, who purchased firecrackers worth Rs. 8,000 from Hosur says it is “economical” to brave the sun and the traffic to travel that far only if one has bulk purchases to make.