The GHMC had banned sale and use of illegal firecrackers following the Supreme Court’s orders.

In Hyderabad GHMCs rule allowing only green crackers is a mere formality
news Firecrackers Thursday, November 04, 2021 - 18:01

“Every year the court keeps saying there is a ban on crackers but we continue to sell them. Can you see any stall which is not selling these firecrackers?,” a vendor from Jumerat Bazar in Hyderabad asked.  Pointing out to the other stalls in the bazaar, he nonchalantly added that bans are annual exercises. Jumerat Bazar in Hyderabad has around 30 firecrackers stalls and none of them knew what green crackers were. And this is a phenomenon across the city. Despite an official ban on illegal firecrackers—that cause noise and air pollution—by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) in Hyderabad, the ban remains a mere formality on the ground. The sale and use of firecrackers continues to happen during Deepavali, without any intervention by the authorities. 

Following the Supreme Court’s orders on October 29, the GHMC had announced a ban on illegal firecrackers, saying that only green firecrackers would be allowed to be sold. “Production, sale and use of firecrackers and series crackers or laris other than green crackers are banned, and illegal imports, sale and distribution of these fireworks is a punishable offense,” the GHMC had said. They further claimed that teams have been formed to identify shops selling imported firecrackers. 

However, none of these orders have been implemented on the ground, and its business as usual in shops across the city that have been openly selling firecrackers including laris—which emit loud noise.  

“Firecrackers from China have been banned, but we have all kinds of other firecrackers including musicals,” said another vendor at the Jumerat Bazar.

The vendors are happy that the GHMC and the police did not enforce a strict ban on illegal firecrackers. “We have just managed to survive the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We had suffered a huge loss last year. Usually in Jumerat Bazar, around 40 stalls would be set up, but because of the financial crisis, this year only 30 vendors could set up shops. If GHMC authorities had enforced the ban strictly, our business would have been deeply affected,” said a vendor.  

In its order, the Supreme Court had said that the Chief Secretaries and police officials would be personally liable if a banned variety of firecrackers were found to be used in any state.  The GHMC has not shared any details about their raids to prevent the sale of illegal firecrackers. When TNM reached out to an official in the GHMC, he claimed that the Deputy Commissioners may be implementing the orders, but calls to the Deputy Commissioners revealed that they have not been given any instructions. An Assistant Medical Officer of Health from GHMC said, “We were asked to only collect license fees, apart from that we were not given any additional duty.”


 

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