SRINAGAR: The vibrant display of fireworks across the Valley seen last Sunday after the Pakistan ICC Champions Trophy win over India may not be repeated this Eid as a ban on firecracker sale in Delhi and the prevailing situation here have not allowed stockists to replenish their diminishing goods.
Maharaja Bazar wholesaler Khursheed Ahmad Shah told Kashmir Reader that the market’s present stock comprises what was unconsumed because of last year’s summer uprising that followed the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, and later saw people observe an austere Eid-ul-Adha with no fireworks used.
Shah said that after a lean season last year, dealers this year were apprehensive about business and had restricted imports. “What is available with us is the leftover stock of the previous year.”
The stock for Eid, he added, was further depleted by the Pakistan win over India, with people almost exhausting cracker variants that make more sound.
Dealers say the win triggered a frenzy, and even though many shops had been closed by the time it happened, a substantial sale was still achieved.
Another dealer, Khursheed Ahmad of Nowhatta, told Kashmir Reader that Eid-ul- Fitr would generate good business, permitting dealers to stock products during this festive period that would last a year.
However putting together the stock would not be a simple matter as the Supreme Court of India suspended the licences of all firecracker sellers in Delhi-NCR last November, banning both sale and purchase. “We have least to offer as our immediate dealers in Delhi are not accepting new orders as there is a strict ban on the sale of fire crackers,” he said.
Shah said that dealers have to look to other areas to import firecrackers, mostly in Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district of Tamil Nadu, the fireworks hub of India.
“This could take time,” he said, “as we have to set up new business ties with dealers there. Apart from this, there is the new tax regime that has come into force across India, though it is yet to be implemented here.
Shah says there have been periods when firecrackers have not been used for years, mostly after the 1990s when sales were almost wiped out due to militancy. But they have made a comeback, and fireworks are now in use during festivals and weddings.
About the variants available, dealers say a wide array of crackers are sold during festive time, but it is multi-shot crackers that are in use during weddings.