Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 26
Following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the district administration today issued 20 temporary licences to fire cracker dealers in the city ahead of Diwali. As per the court guidelines, only 20 per cent of the total licences can be issued.
A total of 310 applications were received this year while the number was 200 last year. The draw of lots for issuing the licences was held at Red Cross Bhawan in the presence of Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori, Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Bhullar and other officials. No licence was issued for the sale of crackers in rural areas outside the jurisdiction of the Police Commissionerate.
In view of the Covid threat, the dealers have been directed to adhere to social distancing norm.
President of the Cracker Dealers’ Association Rakesh Kumar Bahri said the dealers would set up their stalls in the 'patakha' market from the next week. “Only green crackers will be sold," he added.
The dealers whose names did not figure in the draw of lots would continue to sell their stock in partnership with the selected dealers.
Sale likely to dip this year
As the earnings remained low this year due to the Covid-induced lockdown, cracker dealers aren’t hoping to earn good profit this Diwali. Bahri said, “People, including dealers, do not have money to buy crackers. There is an economic slump this year, so we are not expecting enough footfall of buyers. Besides, in the absence of labour, the manufacturing of crackers was hindered. Every year, the stock is prepared at least six months prior to the festival. However, we neither got time nor the labour this year."
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