The NCR which comprises 22 districts including major places like Faridabad, Gurgaon or Gurugram in Haryana, Noida in Uttar Pradesh, and Alwar in Rajasthan to mention a few, were the major consumers of firecrackers in the northern part of the country, which constitutes 10 to 15 per cent of the total fireworks production, said AMS Ashokan, past president of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association, Sivakasi.
Out of the 1,200 firecrackers industries, he said most of them broadly depending on these markets to make their profits during this year Deepavali season and for further investments. The fireworks manufacturing in Sivakasi is a round-the-year production scenario and not seasonal as claimed by some activists, he added.
“Only bursting of crackers is a seasonal one not the fireworks production which provides livelihood to six lakh people in Sivakasi alone,” said Ashokan.
Since the apex court had banned all fireworks in New Delhi region on November 11 last year, many industries had produced only 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the fireworks this year, said A P Selvarajan, director of Sri Kaliswari Fireworks Private Limited, Sivakasi.
The court lifting of ban on September 11 this year, helped the wholesale dealers to exhaust the old firework stocks, and they procured crackers on credits from the industries hoping for better sales in the month of October, said the manufactures.
However, the court re-imposed the ban 10 days ahead of Deepavali, which has left the wholesale dealers in the lurch. “As 25 per cent of the total sale depends on credit, it is not possible for us to recover our money from the dealers now. If we ask for the payments, they would ask us to take back the stocks,” said Ashokan.
The ban will also affect the livelihood of thousands of retailers in NCR whose annual earnings of Rs 10 lakh depends only on the fireworks sales during Deepavali, he said.