Nagpur: With uncertainty over mood of people on celebration of Festival of Lights following the Covid-19 outbreak, firecrackers business is likely to bear the brunt. The Second Capital could witness a drop in number of firecrackers shops this year as the authorities have received 22.61 percent less aplications in this connection.
The nine Fire Stations of Fire Brigade, till November 2, have received 582 applications for setting up firecrackers shops in city. Last year, Fire Brigade had granted permissions for a total of 752 shops. This year, Sakkardara Fire Station has given the maximum permissions – 114 – for the firecrackers shops in their jurisdiction. Ganjipeth Fire Station has the least shops with only 35 permissions. The Trimurti Nagar Fire Station, established two years ago, had permitted 111 shops last year. But this year, it had to settle with only 84 permissions. Similarly, only 67 firecrackers shops would be set up under Civil Lines Fire Station jurisdiction as compared to 106 shops last year.
The number of firecrackers shops in the city has seen a drop during Diwali over the last three years and this year their number has dropped further. The Covid-19 pandemic has further shrinked the number of shops. In 2016, there were 982 shops selling firecrackers. In 2019, 752 had obtained no-objection certificates from the Fire Department to put up temporary shops. This year the number further declined with 582 applications for setting up the firecrackers shops.
According to Chief Fire Officer Rajendra Uchake, people are becoming increasingly aware about the ill effects of crackers on envronment. Hence, usage is on the decline. Moreover, health issues related to firecrackers are on the rise and so, citizens are turning to eco-friendly celebrations, said Uchake.