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Monsoon may turn cracker sales at Island Grounds into damp squib

Staff Reporter
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The clayey soil and poor drainage facilities make for a deadly combination —Photo: R. Ravindran
The clayey soil and poor drainage facilities make for a deadly combination —Photo: R. Ravindran

With the northeast monsoon setting in on Monday, Island Grounds was heavily water-logged, causing concern to firecracker traders who have the permission to put up 120 temporary stalls there.

“The condition in Island Grounds is expected to affect the sale of firecrackers this Diwali,” said R. Natarajan of Chennai Fireworks Dealers Welfare Association.

“Last year, they provided space for retail outlets near War Memorial. There was no waterlogging and the sales were good,” said Mr. Natarajan.

Now, the shopkeepers in the areas around NSC Bose Road, who will put up these stalls at Island Grounds, are upset with the allotted space. Retailers said the rains in 2011 affected the sale at the Grounds. The clayey soil there and poor drainage facilities make for a deadly combination.

Another issue pertains to the six temporary wooden bridges that have been constructed for visitors to reach the shops from the War Memorial side.

Retailers have raised concerns over the safety of these bridges. The Chennai Metro Fireworks Dealers Association and Chennai Fireworks Dealers Welfare Association are expected to make a decision based on the court order over the safety issue on Tuesday.

Because of such safety lapses, traders were reluctant to take the stalls in September, when the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation (TTDC) had called for tenders.




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