Mumbai, Oct 7: The Bombay High Court’s ruling that sound-emitting firecrackers would not be permitted from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. comes along with a mandatory instruction for manufacturers and wholesalers.
The wrappings on the firecrackers must inform what explosives are used in them, what is its sound limit, and it must also warn buyers of the 10 p.m. deadline. The High Court seeks to ensure wide publicity to its ruling through this mandatory instruction.
However, this order to print the details on the wrappings comes barely 15 days before Diwali when brisk sales of firecrackers have already begun in the city. And, obviously, none of the existing brands mention the sound limit details or the 10 p.m. deadline. They do have the statutory statement - ‘Sound level within permissible limits.’
When a few prominent firecracker dealers from Mohammad Ali road were contacted to check if they were aware about the mandatory label on the firecracker wrappings, this is what they replied unanimously: “We are not aware of such mandatory instructions. The explosives department of the government has not issued any kind of circular to us,” said Gabdil of K. Fidaally and Co. Minesh Mehta, Hon. Jt. Secretary of the Mumbai and Thane District Fireworks Dealers’ Welfare Association, said, “If any such label is mandatory, it is impossible for it to come into effect from this season as customers have already started purchasing firecrackers.”
When asked if the deadline for the sound emitting firecrackers had any impact on the sale of such fireworks, Yusuf, another dealer, said, “The manufacturers of the atom bombs and other sound emitting crackers have bought down the sound level by few decibels, but no one is aware of the exact figure and if it has really happened. However, this year the market demand is more for colour emitting and aerial fireworks.”
R. Kriplani, Controller of the Explosives, West circle, said, “The order has come at the 11th hour. By now the firecrackers are in the market for sale. So it is not possible to implement the order this year.” Mayur Sapre, a regular buyer from Mohammad Ali Road, said, “If the manufacturers mention the precise noise level details of the crackers, the buyers would definitely go for the least sound-emitting ones.”