Visakhapatnam

Traders hope for a cracker of Deepavali this year

Star Fire Merchants Welfare Society secretary Siraj Sayyed says green crackers will be sold following the Supreme Court guidelines.   | Photo Credit: File photo: K.R. Deepak

With the Deepavali festival around the corner, firecracker traders have started their preparations to set up stalls here. Though the State government has not yet released guidelines regarding the festival, the traders are hopeful that permissions will be given and are expecting good sales post COVID-19 relaxations and vaccination drive being on course.

Star Fire Merchants Welfare Society Secretary Siraj Sayyed said that most of the traders have started their preparations to set up and green crackers will be sold following the Supreme Court guidelines.

“Last year, we had set up around 90 shops at Andhra University grounds and we are expecting the same number again,” he said.

Mr. Siraj said that they were expecting better sales compared to the previous year. “The stalls were set up following the COVID and Fire Department norms and the traders ensured social distancing at the premises. We would continue the same, if permission is accorded, this year also,” he said.

According to Regional Fire Officer (RFO), GVMC, Niranjan Reddy, the traders initially need to take No Objection Certificate (NOCs) from the Fire Department, APEPDCL and a few other departments and also apply for permission with the Police Department.

The Police Commissioner is the authority to give permissions for setting up the stalls in the city limits, while in the rural and Agency area, the District Collector gives permission, he said.

“The guidelines from the government are expected soon. In the meantime, the application process goes on. We have also started to receive applications for NOCs. Since a discussion needs to be held with the Collector, police and other authorities, we have not scrutinised them yet,” he said.

According to a few firecracker traders, the number of stalls has been declining in the city over the last few years. The traders say that while many of them are not venturing into this business to avoid losses and in the recent times due COVID-19 pandemic.

“Earlier, stalls were allowed at many places, including at prime locations within the city, such as near the RTC bus stop, LIC Building Road and beside the Central Park. But now we are given space only at a few places like AU Grounds. The city does not have many grounds. Before COVID-19, about 150 stalls could be accommodated at a ground and now due to the restrictions, they are limited to 70 to 90,” a trader said.


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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 1:39:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/traders-hope-for-a-cracker-of-deepavali-this-year/article37182154.ece

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