Hyderabad: Every year, despite the ban on Chinese crackers in Indian markets, they resurface during sporadic surprise raids. While the fancy crackers catch attention of buyers due also to their special effects, the ban makes them difficult to get.
“No licence for import of fireworks has been granted under the Explosives Rules, 2008. Manufacture, possession, use, sale etc of any explosive containing sulphur or sulphurate in admixture with any chlorate is banned in the country vide Notification in 1992,” the rule states. Chinese crackers violate both the rules and also the sound limit provided in the Indian Explosives Act. However, the sale is happening on the sky.
Shipments which go through checks can easily pass through by false classifications of the containers, terming the crackers as ‘diapers’ or ‘baby food’ or ‘beauty products’. “All one needs to do is fill the first two feet with diapers and the rest of the container with crackers. Not every container is checked till the bottom, and that's how the crackers enter the market,”explains a senior official from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
In the last six months, a huge crackers consignment worth Rs 17crore was seized in Mumbai and a smaller seizure effected in Vijayawada. “There's no foolproof method to ensure that Chinese crackers don't enter Indian markets. The only way is to have a specific intelligence wing,” say senior officials from the customs and revenue intelligence.
“They are not just a safety problem. This is a huge setback to the local cracker industry. Importing them of the order of crores harms the local economy,” notes another official. To the general public, the commerce and industry ministry had requested that any “possession and/or sale of such fireworks may be reported to the nearest police station or the district authorities for suitable action.”...