Demand for green firecrackers ‘not satisfactory’,claim fireworks traders.


After a ‘slump‘ in business over the past two years due to COVID-19, West Bengal fireworks vendors keep their fingers crossed for this year’s Diwali, but demand for green fireworks is still picking up.

Several factors, including the government’s decision to allow only green fireworks this year, and the threat of hurricanes during Kali Puja, have led officials from the organizing committee of the Baj Bazaar to experience a decline in sales.

Compared to a daily footfall of 2,000-2,500 in the Tallah Park Bazi Bazar in the pre-COVID Diwali seasons, the same has been around 1,000-1,500 from its opening on October 20, he said.“We are only selling green firecrackers certified by central agencies which have expertise to decide which fireworks follow the prescribed norms. But due to network issues, it takes time for the QR code to be scanned and the certifying letter by the appropriate authority to be downloaded. This makes customers jittery as they may face questions by police for buying non-green products,” he said.

Due to high prices of green fireworks, customers also remain cautious to buy a product, and that is reflected in the overall sales figure.”Crackers are not among the preferred ones due to confusion in decibel limit as there are a few crackers generating sound below 90 decibel. The West Bengal Pollution Control Board and police officials are confiscating fireworks which fail to pass tests for 90-decibel limit though nationally, the bar is 125 decibel. None wants to face harassment by the authorities,” said one seller “We are hopeful that the sale will be picked up on Sunday and the day of Kali Puja-Diwali on October 24. However, the heavy rain forecast has dampened the spirit,” another seller added.

“At our recent meeting with the WBPCB, we had urged the authorities to come clear on the confusion related to 90-decibel limit and 125-decibel mark. The 90-decibel limit has been hitting hard 31 lakh fireworks makers across Bengal. The notification about banned fireworks does not specify the 90-decibel limit and only gives stress on QR codes.”But some NGOs are trying to throttle the industry in Bengal which had once set the trend of burning colourful fireworks having different patterns in air. We urge the government to come forward to aid our indigenous industry and help it modernise,” Roy said.Environmentalist S M Ghosh, however, said the basic health issues of people cannot be overlooked in the name of livelihood.

Most of the green crakcers’ sound level falls within the range of 110 to 125 decibel. But WBPCB had, in the past, specified 90-decibel limit for the sound-emitting firecrackers. This has not been withdrawn but the market is flooded with fireworks exceeding the specified limit.”The QR code marks are also fictitious in our state. If you check them under phone scanner, nothing will be visible,” he claimed.

WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra said the pollution watchdog officials along with experts and police are keeping tab on the bazi bazars regularly.“We hope to ensure only green fireworks conforming to certified norms are sold,”.

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