Coimbatore

Fall in temporary licences issued for cracker sale in Coimbatore

Fire and Rescue Services to open special control room.

Last year's ruling of the Supreme Court on the type of firecrackers to be allowed and the time slot for their use seems to have a dampening impact on the business this year.

Statistics provided by the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services showed a decline in the number of applications received for temporary licences to run cracker stalls in Coimbatore district ahead of Deepavali, this year.

While 622 applications were received ahead of Deepavali last year, the number has reduced to 543, this time. This year, temporary licences were granted to 512 persons against 563 issued last year.

Watch | What are 'green' crackers?

Market sluggish

District Fire Officer M. Balasubramaniam told The Hindu that the decline in the number of applications could be the effect of restrictions laid down by the Supreme Court last year. “The market seems to be sluggish this year, due to which we received less number of applications for licences compared to last year. The licences were issued after examining the proposed stalls and safety requirements,” he said.

Last year, the apex court had ruled that only low-polluting green firecrackers should be sold in the market. The court had fixed a two-hour window for bursting firecrackers, which was left for each State to decide. The Tamil Nadu Government had fixed the timings as 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Deepavali day.

Those who obtained the temporary licences can stock and sell firecrackers during the period specified in the licence.

The licence also mentions the quantity of firecrackers that can be stocked and sold by the holder.

Mr. Balasubramaniam said that China-made firecrackers were not allowed to be sold at the stalls.

However, enforcement of less polluting green firecrackers was to be done at the manufacturing level, he said.

M. Balan, president of Coimbatore District Firecrackers Small Traders Welfare Association, said that several traders stayed away from the business this year as the market was dull.

Organiser of the association A. Ramaiyya felt that various restrictions imposed by the Supreme Court also had an impact on the industry.

He added that stocks of green firecrackers have arrived for sale in the city.

Mr. Balasubramaniam said that the department will position the 13 fire tenders, three mini fire tenders, emergency response teams and quick reaction vehicles at strategic locations on Deepavali day for quick response to emergency calls.

A special control room will also be opened for Deepavali, he said.

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Printable version | Jul 2, 2020 3:35:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/fall-in-temporary-licences-issued-for-cracker-sale/article29729149.ece

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