Tamil Nadu

Chinese crackers may sneak in this Deepavali

Banners announcing that Chinese firecrackers are not on sale put up outside shops in Kancheepuram. —Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan

Banners announcing that Chinese firecrackers are not on sale put up outside shops in Kancheepuram. —Photo: D. Gopalakrishnan  

Licence issued to sellers silent on foreign-made crackers.

With the Deepavali sale of firecrackers all set to pick up in a few days, the question of whether the availability of Chinese fireworks would really be checked remains debatable.

Generally, retailers selling fireworks are supposed to submit their application for temporary licence 20 to 30 days before the festival to the licensing authority. The applications would then be forwarded to the police and fire service and local revenue authorities for inspection of the site and issuance of No Objection Certificate.

In all, the processing of an application would take not less than 10 days and hence, the retailer who applies for temporary licence 10 days before the festival or less, puts up his shop with the application acknowledgement receipt, according to official sources.

Meanwhile, a wholesale stockist and retailer at Kancheepuram said that though the possession and sale of fireworks of foreign origin had been declared as illegal and punishable under law a few years ago, certain fireworks containing the hazardous chemical “potassium chlorate” made in foreign countries were sold under Indian brand names during last season.

“The officials did inspect the shops but were convinced after the sellers told them that those products containing Chinese or Thai letters were manufactured in Indian fireworks factories for export four to five years ago,” he explained.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the Fire Service Department, one of the agencies involved in the issuance of permanent/temporary licences for sale of fireworks, has started obtaining a written assurance from the firecracker sellers that they would not sell China-made fireworks at their outlets, before issuing the NOC.

Not in the licence

However, a condition banning the sale of foreign-made fireworks did not figure in the licence issued after collecting the NOCs from police, fire services and other agencies involved in the processing of permanent/temporary fireworks licence, sources added.

On the other hand, an oral instruction was being given to the sellers to put up banners announcing that China-made fireworks were not available for sale, prominently at the outlets.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 8:55:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Chinese-crackers-may-sneak-in-this-Deepavali/article16074745.ece

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