Shops flout ban, sell crackers in crowded areas
By Garima Dhawan
A shop selling Diwali crackers.
Bangalore, Oct 12, 2017: Shopkeepers are selling firecrackers in crowded areas of Bangalore like Avenue Road, Mumulpet and Sultanpet. After the 1988 K.R. Market fire, which caused heavy damage, the government came out with a law that banned the sale of fireworks anywhere but in large, open-air places such as playgrounds.
While the law prohibits the sale of any item alongside fireworks, several fireworks shops on Avenue Road are not following the law. For instance, fireworks are being sold alongside stationery under the same roof.
B.V. Bhandarkar, a shopkeeper on Avenue road said, “We have the license to sell the crackers and that’s why we have been selling it from past 20 years in the same shop which is located at the entry of the Avenue Road market, even after the fire we were given the license to sell it.”
However, the fire department said they do not allow any of the shops to sell crackers in crowded market like Avenue Road or Sultanpet even if they have license. They are only allowed to sell in open spaces or grounds.
Sub Inspector of K.R Market, V.M Manchagodha said, “We know that there are people who are still selling crackers in the crowed markets, but we can’t do anything as we do tell them to stop selling in crowded area, but they ultimately come back to the same place or go to some other place to sell it.”
BBMP officer M.R Venkatesh (Chief Engineer) said, “We didn’t give any permission to set any shops in crowded markets. We have allotted an open ground to sell the crackers. But there has been no permission given to shopkeepers to sell crackers.”
A shopkeeper on Avenue road expressed his concern over the illegal sale of crackers as if one shop catches fire it would spell doom for the whole market.