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Firecracker manufacturers, sellers suffer massive loss due to the COVID19 pandemic

Traders said their annual sales depend on the Diwali festival and Mumbai alone constitutes 25 percent of the total sales. Keeping the COVID19 crisis in mind, many states have banned the firecrackers, however BMC has permitted use of mild crackers.

Firecracker manufacturers, sellers suffer massive loss due to the COVID19 pandemic
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Both sellers and manufacturers of firecrackers in Mumbai said they would face losses worth INR 25-30 crores if the state government had banned bursting of firecrackers this year. The sellers stated that nearly 80 per cent of their annual sales depend on the Diwali festival and Mumbai alone constitutes 25 per cent of the total sales.

On Monday, the civic body has, however, permitted use of ‘mild firecrackers’ on Laxmi Pujan (November 14), saying Mumbaikars can use ‘anar’ (cracker known for a sparkling display and showers of coloured sparks upwards) and 'fulzadi' (sparklers) at their private premises on that day.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) also announced that it will ban the bursting and lighting of all firecrackers at public places during Diwali. The state government has also appealed to citizens to refrain from the same this year as the resultant pollution could have an adverse impact on COVID-19 patients.

Considering the grim COVID-19 situation in many parts of Maharashtra and apprehension of the second wave of infection.

Bursting of firecrackers releases a lot of smoke and other pollutants into the air and it can stay in the atmosphere for long in the winter air. The pollution could have an adverse effect on the lungs and health of COVID-19 patients and also increase the risk of infection among senior citizens and children.

Keeping the COVID19 situation in mind, many states have already banned the firecrackers, and the same will be observed in West Bengal, Delhi and Chandigarh amidst the double whammy of the pandemic and pollution crisis.

Diwali is around the corner and sellers have already procured the raw materials from the suppliers to sell them. A worker from Sunil Store in Sewri which is also stationary said," there is 50 per cent decline in the sale of firecrackers in our shop due to the recent announcement by the government, we earn our living from the stationery store. We should follow the government protocol and not harm coronavirus patients.” 

Jitendra Bhuta, an owner of Koliwada Kapole Stores in Sion, said, “Few people have come to our store. They have bought soundless fireworks like sparklers, chakkar and others. But there 30 to 40 decline in sale due to coronavirus. The firecrackers are mainly manufactured in Tamil Nadu, Diwali is only the time to earn, we are facing a financial crisis due to lockdown and decline in the sale of firecrackers.”

"Other than Diwali, firecrackers are sold during Ganpati festival, Dusshera, weddings and political events. During the elections also, we get to do a decent business. But this year, everything happened in a low-key manner and so, we were heavily dependent on Diwali," Bhuta added

A firecracker wholesaler from Mohammad Ali Road said, "So far we could have done little business as people are not turning up at stores. We were expecting our sales to be below average as everyone has his financial problems due to the pandemic situation."

Most of the manufacturers are based on the outskirts of Mumbai. Sellers in Mumbai procure firecrackers from the districts which also cost them heavy logistical charges.

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