Amid firecracker ban, traders look to sell via online portals
Several retailing websites like e-Bay and portals of established fireworks companies were seen advertising their products.
Even as the Supreme Court ordered a complete ban on sale of fireworks this Diwali on the ground, it may have forgotten to net the virtual shopping world to this end. Several retailing websites like e-Bay and portals of established fireworks companies like cockbrand.in, buyonlinecrackers.com, crackersindia.com and ayyanonline were seen advertising their "high-quality phuljhadis, rockets and anaars" for all over India till early Tuesday.
After many shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar and other parts of Delhi, who have suffered big losses due to the SC ban, pointed out this anomaly in media, many such portals removed "Delhi and NCR" as centres for delivery. Some removed names of North Indian states from their list altogether retaining only cities like Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Tiruchirappalli and Chennai in their delivery list.
Some others, though, still mentioned the Capital city. The owner of one such website, who requested not to be named, said, "I read the SC order yesterday but it's not clear. As my company is headquartered in Rajkot (Gujarat), am I not out of the purview of the cracker sale ban?" Ankit Jain, another portal owner, said, "One can anyway purchase from, say Meerut, and burst crackers here, the ban is not watertight." Lawyer Kshitij Kaushal said, "Ideally online retailers should not do this. It's dangerous. They can still be caught for violating an apex court order."
Pulkit Choudhury, an engineering student from Rajouri Garden, said, "My cousins from other cities will certainly get me crackers from their hometowns and we will celebrate here in Delhi."
Experts have repeatedly said burning of chemicals, that give the colour effect to fireworks - like aluminium, nitric oxide, cadmium, - have lethal effects on the body. The city is choked with poisonous smog every morning after Diwali. A two-judge SC bench on Monday said, "We should see at least in one Diwali the impact of a cracker-free festivity." Diwali is on October 19 and the order effectively means that no firecrackers will be available for purchase before the festival.