If rains play spoilsport, cracker sales may get hit

'Dip in sales due to continuous awareness on pollution'

If rains play spoilsport, cracker sales may get hit

Copious rains, fire cracker vendors at J K Grounds in the city are edgy, as they fear that the weather might play spoil sport this year too.

They had experienced a bitter experience last year, when heavy rains turned the ground into a deluge. Their fears surmounted when the city witnessed rain on Monday ahead of Naraka Chaturdashi on October 22.

At J K Grounds, the hub of cracker sales, a total of 21 stalls have been put up under the banner of Mysore City Cracker Vendors Association. Though the make-shift stalls opened doors on October 15, the sales remained low even two days into the festival. However, learning from past experience, they have placed the crackers on elevated racks to avoid rain water from damaging the same.

Majority of the vendors said that apart from rain, change in location had also had a bearing on them. Until four years ago, Town Hall ground was synonymous with cracker sales, attracting people from different parts for being located in central business district (CBD). No sooner the Mysore City Corporation (MCC) launched renovation works of the Town Hall, besides other civil works in the Ground, cracker vendors were forced to scout for a big holding space, and they settled for the current location at J K Ground.

Dip in sales
Ganesh, President of the Association attributed the dip in sales to various reasons. One of the deterrents was the rain, while the continuous awareness against bursting crackers too had brought down the cracker sales.

According to Ganesh, a total of 50 to 60 stalls have been set up in different parts of the city. Aside from J K Ground, sales are on at Dasara Exhibition Grounds, Kuvempunagar, Vidyaranyapuram, Ballal Circle, Andolana Circle, Srirampura and Hebbal.

 Barring a few, majority of the traders are seasonal vendors, who invest, eyeing at least minimum profit during the festival.

Another trader G B Anjaiah Shetty who is known as the old horse in the realm, with a vast experience of 50 years, said that though spiralling prices of crackers was discouraging, the bright side was that a large section of people still zealously celebrated the festival. A cracker earlier available at 50 paisa, now costs Rs 15, he added.

Manjunath who also has set up his stall at J K Ground, says there was a downward trend from the  past five years.

“In the last two years, it has been a bitter experience, thanks to rain and other factors. A box of Lakshmi cracker that emits a loud sound costs Rs 15 against Rs 10 the previous year, while the bombs are available in the rates of Rs 30 to Rs 150.

Every year, there is five per cent rise in the maximum retail price, and, which in a way dissuades from buying crackers,” he added.

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