Nagpur: As the Nagpurians prepare to celebrate Deepawali, the Festival of Lights, markets are abuss with a variety of attractive goods commensurate with the mood of people. One of the big attractions is firecrackers. However, this year, the dazzling business seems to be on low key as Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has granted permissions to only 582 shops selling the firecrackers this year as compared to 752 shops last year. The drop can be attributed to the outbreak of deadly Covid-19.
The permission was issued after No Objection Certificates (NoCs) from nine fire stations of the civic body. The Fire and Emergency Services of the civic body has kept its personnel on alert since during the time of Diwali incidents related to fire tend to crop up at odd times. Also, since crowds in markets are at all time high, the authorities are keeping a close vigil to ensure that shopping activities go on smoothly. The final permission/licence is issued by the Police Department.
As the threat of coronavirus is still lurking, the civic and other Government officials are banking on their awareness activities to ensure citizens do not let down their guard. The civic body charges Rs 1,000 fee plus environmental charge is Rs 3,000 and during last six years the Fire Department provided permissions to 889 firecracker shops in 2014, 951 in 2015, 982 in 2016, 865 in 2017, 777 in 2018, 752 in 2019 and 582 in 2020. This year, 67 licenses were issued under Civil Lines Fire Station, 35 under Ganjipeth Fire Station, 114 under Sakkarada Fire Station, 38 under Kalamna Fire Station, 45 under Lakadganj Fire Station, 93 under Sugat Nagar Fire Station, 69 under Narendra Nagar Fire Station, 69 under fire in Cottage Market. NoCs were also issued to 582 traders across the city for the same after ensuring all the premises have adequate fire fighting equipment in place.
Apart from this, the NMC has also given temporary permission to the shops which have paid property tax. Each applicant of the firecracker shop is allowed to sell up to 450 kg of firecrackers at their respective places for a period of 15 days. Certain mandatory guidelines as suggested by the fire department that of the State Government regarding Covid19 would have to be followed to hilt.
The NMC this year has not allowed any firecracker shops in busy market places as a matter of abundant precaution. These places are Sitabuldi Main Road, Mahal Chowk to Gandhi Gate Chowk, Mahal Chowk to BhonsleWada, Mahal Chowk to Badkas Chowk, Kalyaneshwar Temple Complex, Golibar Chowk to Timki, Teen Nal Chowk to Shaheed Chowk, Shaheed Chowk to Tanga Stand, Hansapuri to Nalsab Chowk, Maskasath Chowk. Similarly, permission was also not given for setting-up firecracker shops near Nehru Statue, Marwadi Chowk, Mayo Hospital area, Daga Hospital, Medical College premises, Indora Chowk to Kamal Talkies Chowk, Gokulpeth Bazar, Sadar Residency Road and other roads.