Allot us fixed markets, say firecracker vendors

Those who like light and sound can buy a 'champagne' for Diwali, one of the newest additions to firecrackers in shops this year.

The new varieties of firecrackers in shops have changed the regular 'anar-charkhi-phuljhari-patakha' routine of Diwali.

Champagne is a flower pot (anar) in a glass bottle with a fibre lining inside that prevents the glass from bursting even as there are multiple colorful crackers released in the form of colorful showers. Selling at Rs 250 for two pieces, the cracker claims to present a safer alternative to the conventional anar. Also selling are some flower pots that have no sound and only light and color.

Then, there are others meant for very small children that burst without a danger of them getting burned. Phool marka and phoonk bomb might sound dangerous but are ideal for children below ten years as they need not be put on fire and burst on impact. The new cracker pistols this year have two cracker shots (bullets) that can be fired simultaneously.

Fire cracker 'ladis' are available that have crackers ranging from one to 10,000 crackers that extend for upto 200 yards and take 25 minutes to exhaust when put on fire.

While most of the crackers are imported from Sivakasi, Chinese crackers are also flooding the markets. Though attractive to look at, shop owners say that the safety of these remain under doubt as they are not branded. The prices of crackers have escalated by around 20 per cent this year, because of the prices of raw materials and taxes on fire cracking increasing. In comparison, the sales have registered a 40 per cent decrease this year, say vendors. According to them, shifting of the venue of selling firecrackers every year has led to fallen sales.

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