UP govt undecided on cracker ban, sellers face uncertainty

Uncertainty prevails over the sale of firecrackers in Uttar Pradesh even as Diwali is only a few days away.

The Uttar Pradesh government has not yet issued any clear advisory on sale of crackers after certain Hindu leaders objected to the ban on firecrackers by the Delhi government.

Stockists and retail sellers of firecrackers say they don’t know whether they will be allowed to sell fireworks this year or not.

“I hold a stock of firecrackers but the area police is not allowing me to set up shop. Diwali is only a few days away and then we will have the wedding season. But we still don’t know what to do,” said Zaheer, who sells firecrackers in Yahiyaganj area in Lucknow. His family deals in wholesale of firecrackers.

He said that he was getting inquiries from retail sellers but was not in a position to give them any clear-cut answers.

In Prayagraj, firecracker sellers are selling ‘green crackers’, which are low on environmental and sound pollution.

Similar is the case in Varanasi, though regular crackers are getting sold in Kanpur in the absence of any clear policy on the issue.

On Saturday, BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj had kicked up a controversy when he said that “Diwali will be celebrated without crackers only when Bakrid (Eid al-Adha) is celebrated without animal slaughter”.

Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, and Haryana governments have already announced ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers. Karnataka government too will issue a formal notification soon on the ban.