Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 23
The much-awaited firecracker market will be set up at Burlton Park here from Monday onwards. After a draw of lots, 20 applicants willing to set up stalls at the market have been shortlisted. The administration has said licences will be issued to shopkeepers from Monday onwards.
A total of 94 people had applied for setting up cracker stalls and out of which, only 20 have been selected as per the guidelines. Ever since firecrackers were banned from being sold in markets across city areas, Burlton Park has been the only designated place where firecrackers are allowed to be sold around a fortnight before the festival of lights. The stalls, to be set up from Monday, will sell crackers till 9 pm on Diwali night (November 4).
The vendors are expecting a brisk business this year as most of the Covid-19 restrictions have been eased. Around four to five days before the festival of Karva Chauth, a considerable rush of people is already being witnessed in the marketplaces and streets are lined up with stalls selling festival-related goodies and mehndi vends. Moreover, there is abundance of vends selling decorative pieces, sweets, gifts, buntings, etc, in the markets. At some major city bazaars, the rush is so much that people are facing parking problems.
Sensing the festive enthusiasm, the cracker sellers are expecting decent returns this Diwali. DCP, Jalandhar, Jagmohan Singh said, “The draw of lots was held on Friday and stalls were allocated to 20 firecracker vendors to set up stalls at Burlton Park. The licences will be issued to them on Monday or Tuesday.”
While the magazine (or godowns) where firecrackers have been stored for the city is in Kahmbra, the stock will be delivered directly to the Burlton Park market on Monday. No vendor, retailer, wholesaler, godown owners, etc, can either stock or sell firecrackers anywhere else in the district.
While crackers are manufactured in Shivakashi, Jalandhar market primarily gets its cracker stock from there. Further, they are brought in from godowns in either Khambra or Ferozepur. Vendors say since the change of norms, people now go in more for rockets and like crackers more than small crackers, phuljharis, chakris, etc.
Raghav Mahajan, a member of the Bajrang Bali Fireworks’ Association, Jalandhar, said, “Vends have been allocated to us and we expect to start business by Monday. Our stalls will be put up until 9 pm on Diwali night. Most of our crackers come from Khambra (godown) in Jalandhar or Ferozepur. We will receive the stock directly at the market on Monday. We hope for good returns this year amidst cheer and festivities this Diwali. There is eagerness among people for the festival and with changing trends people now prefer fancy crackers or rocket-like crackers to little bombs or stick crackers which they earlier preferred. More will be clear when the market opens.”
Rajesh Jain, a member of the firecracker association in Jalandhar, said, “We are looking forward to doing good business this year. After the first and second waves, things have changed for the better. We hope we will see the reflection of that in the market. We expect to start work from next week.”
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