Chandigarh, October 14
In the backdrop of the awareness about the ill-effects of crackers and noise pollution and recession, residents can expect a less noisy Diwali this year.

With just three days left for the Diwali festival, the sale of crackers is yet to pick up momentum. In fact, like the previous years, shopkeepers were pinning hopes on last three days for the sales to pick up.

Official sources said the administration had already started renewing licences of outlets selling fire crackers. Last year, around 600 licences were renewed and the number was not likely to cross this figure this year also, the source said.

Though nearly 1,100 cracker-sellers were registered, a number of them had not been turning up during the past few years. Stalls for the sale of crackers were allowed at the sites earmarked by the administration. The MC gave the permission after the applicants got the clearance from the District Magistrate and the fire department.

"Since the fire crackers cannot be stored for the next year, people wait for heavy discount a day or two prior to the Diwali," Subhash Kumar, a shopkeeper of Sector 22, said.

The residents, however, said the high price and recession were also the reason for not buying crackers on a large scale. At a time when recession had hit the business and salaried class hard, buying crackers was not the priority, said Mandeep Singh, a Sector 47 resident.

Meanwhile, the sale of fire crackers without any licence is being alleged at a few places, particularly in colonies and villages. Residents of Sector 47 today objected to sale of the fire crackers from outside their residences.

Source: Tribune News Service