The Diwali season has arrived but the firecracker business was the worst one to be hit despite being peak season time. The crowded streets at Sadar Bazaar, Delhi, which is the largest market in North India has some 70 odd shops, but unfortunately they looked unusually deserted for the Diwali season.
Firecracker vendors said that this was their worst Diwali season yet, as sales were 60% lower than last year. The low sales were due to price hikes and rising awareness about the impact of firecrackers on the environment.
One shop keeper said that never in his 20 years of selling crackers did he have to stand outside his shop to attract customers. He added that usually at this time of the year, customers would crowd his shop and his employees would have a tough time managing their demands. Now it appears as though times have changed.
Over the past ten years, schools across the city have been discouraging students from bursting crackers while making them aware of the ill-effects of noise and air pollution that they cause. Even the government has been running public awareness campaigns against crackers. Another reason of the cut in sales is a price hike. The prices of crackers have risen by 30%, as compared to last year.