Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has received 248 applications from firecracker retailers to set up stalls at various places in the city. However, the civic body has not given the No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) yet as the Bombay High Court (HC) has passed orders that the stalls be set up only in open gardens and not on the roads or near residential areas.
Prashant Ranpise, Chief Fire Officer, said, "No NOCs have been given yet as the officers of the concerned areas are checking with the retailers about the open ground to set up the stalls. Just like in Delhi, the HC has also made provisions for Maharashtra to ban firecrackers but implementation will take time."
Every year, around 1,000 stalls are allowed to in Pune, Ranpise added. "The stall owners can also use private open lands to set up their stalls. But, for that they have to take permission from land owners first," he said.
The firecracker stall owners, who generally put up their stalls at Shaniwar Peth, Vartak Garden every year, are not happy with the HC order. They will now now have to set up their stalls at far-off places where they fear customer footfall will drop.
Ashok Phulgar, retailer of fire crackers, said, "The permissions (NOC) are not being cleared since almost a month. Unless and until we get the permission, we would not be able to purchase the crackers in bulk. Now that we cannot put up our stall in our regular areas, we fear the sales will drop. We will have to sell them at an open ground where competition will be fierce."
"The High Court should rethink about it, as this would create problems not only for us but also for customers as they would have to go far rather than purchasing them from their nearby shop which would not be available for this year," Phulgar said.