A week before Diwali is usually the busiest time for firecracker traders in Sadar Bazar, one of the biggest wholesale markets in Delhi. But this Monday was not the same. While a few salesmen strolled in the market looking for 'prospective buyers', some waited behind closed shutters with fresh stock of firecrackers. Following the Supreme Court's ban on the sale of firecrackers in NCR till October 31, the Delhi Police officials made traders shut shops on Monday, and those who were still found selling firecrackers, were give a warning that their shops would be sealed if they continue selling crackers.
Air pollution and smog were the most discussed topics nationally post Diwali in 2016 and the alarming pollution levels in the city had led to the court order of suspending all licences which "permit the sale of fireworks - wholesale and retail - within the territory of NCR" in November last year. However, on September 12 this year, the ban was relaxed, and was again reinstated on Monday.
Following the SC's ban on the sale of firecrackers in NCR till October 31, the Delhi Police officials made traders shut shops on Monday (BCCL/ Samik Sen)
The owner of a firecracker store in Sadar Bazar added, "If we aren't allowed to open our shops, we'll sit outside and sell firecrackers. What do we do with the stock? Did anyone think of our losses before taking such a decision? Banning the sale of firecrackers won't stop people from bursting them, they can get them in bulk from outside and some will also have leftovers from last year's festival."