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Posted on Nov 13, 03:36PM | UNI
The sound of bursting crackers in front of houses and in neighbourhood streets was not as deafening as it was for the festival of lights Diwali this time vis-a-vis last year.
It was not difficult to understand either why the 'explosive' as well as other versions of crackers like sparklers were costolier this year. This was due to the strintent regulations in the wake of a major fire mishap that claimed many lives in an illegal cracker manufacturing unit in Sivakasi town in Tamil Nadu, the manufacturing centre for entire country. Also, the crackdown on some more such units led to fall in production and hence the rise in prices.
For instance, the so called 1,000 walla cracker was sold for Rs 450 this year as against Rs 350 last year.
This was because of 20 to 30 per cent rise in prices of crackers which did, however, see a few new varieties being introduced.
The short supply of crackers due to the crackdown in Sivakasi also led to even mileder varieties of crackers like sparklers, flower pots and ground wheels costing more. And to curb fire mishaps in the wake of the Sivakasi disaster on September 5, the state government allotted an open ground coming under army purview, for retaielrs to put up their shops.
However, brisk business could be seen in individual shops put up by traders all over the city. The traditional gaiety and relilgious fervour marking this important festival in the Hindu calendar were still unmistakable.
Offering of prayers in various temples with special poojas also marked the celebrations as usual.
Reports of minor fire mishaps from some parts of the state like Madurai, Thanjavur and Chennai city were expected.