Coimbatore: This Deepavali may be less noisy as Coimbatore city police have sanctioned only 234 crackers shops in the city limit. According to Coimbatore city police, they received about 279 applications for cracker licenses this year.
However, police have given no- objection certificates for issue of licences to 234 shops with 12 applications kept pending. As many as 33 shops were found unfit for sale of crackers, said a police officer.
City police commissioner A. K. Viswanathan said that cracker shops are being given licences only after strict verification of their adherence to safety rules. The applications for opening cracker shops have dwindled this year as public enthusiasm for celebrating Deepavali with expensive fireworks and crackers appears to have dipped. With the economy still in the slump, the demand for crackers and fireworks are likely to drop.
Last year, city police had received about 339 applications for cracker shop licences and 299 shops were given no-objection certificates from police and fire service department, said city police.
The fire service department has come up with stringent guidelines for issue of licences in cracker shops after a major fire broke out in a cracker godown near Gandhipuram about four years ago.
Police and Tamil Nadu fire and rescue service personnel have instructed cracker shop owners to maintain a 15-metre gap with the adjoining buildings. In addition, the shops have also been asked to keep safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and to ensure that a source of water is available close to their shops in order to quickly put out accidental fires.
Shopkeepers have also been told not to allow anyone to smoke cigarettes near their shops. Flammable substances have also been barred inside the shops, while the Supreme Court directive banning fireworks over sound levels of 125 decibels are also to be adhered to, said police.
Fire service launches safe Deepavali campaign:
The Tamil Nadu fire service department is conducting demonstrations and awareness rallies in the city for a safe celebration of Deepavali. With just about a week away for Deepavali, The Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services Department has instructed residents of Coimbatore and Nilgiris district to follow the guidelines, while bursting crackers and lighting fireworks. The aerial fireworks like the rockets are the key cause for fire accidents, say Fire Service officials.
According to District Fire and Rescue Services Officer, Coimbatore Division S.R. Chandran the fire department is focussing on creating awareness among government school children besides private schools.
As part of the safe Deepavali campaign, a live demonstration was conducted for students at the Mani higher secondary school in Pappanaickenpalayam.
Pamphlets will be distributed to the public at busy junctions on the do's and don'ts to celebrate Deepavali in a safe way.
Over the next few days, awareness campaign on "how to handle fire crackers safely" will be conducted at government schools in Ganapathy, Peelamedu, Kauvandampalayam besides Nilgiris district.
Location: Tamil Nadu