The sparkle goes out of firecracker sales in Hosur



People buying crackers in bulk at favourable prices ahead of the festival in Attibele on Thursday.— Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Traders wonder if crackers made in Tamil Nadu have fewer takers after the Cauvery row, or if low-key Deepavali celebrations are becoming a trend now
: Every time a car enters the service lane of Hosur Road in Attibele or Zuzuwadi, the despondent eyes of cracker dealers light up with hope. Dealers say there has been a nearly 40 per cent fall in the number of customers this year.

“In Hosur, the cost of crackers is nearly 20 per cent cheaper than in Karnataka. So many customers from Bengaluru purchase crackers from us. Usually, the service lane is packed with cars from five days before Deepavali. This time, the number of customers has been poor,” said Muniratinam, a trader in Hosur.

Hosur Road is dotted with shops selling crackers, with more than 20 shops on the Attibele side and over 40 on the Tamil Nadu side. Many temporary shops have also come up.

However, most of the shops, which were bustling with customers last year, have no takers now.

Where are the buyers?

Traders wonder if crackers made in Tamil Nadu have fewer takers after the Cauvery row, or if low-key Deepavali celebrations are becoming a trend now.

The situation is no different on the other side of the State border. D. Babu, who has set up a temporary shop in Attibele, said that cars could be found queued up beyond the toll gate last year, but not so now. “This time, the parking lot is empty. I guess people fear there will be some tension due to the Cauvery problem. But we would like to assure them that there will be none,” he said.

R. Balamurugan, another trader, said the number of shops has also reduced by about 10 per cent compared with last year. “This is probably because some traders expected a poor turnout and suffered losses due to rains last year,” he said.

Still hoping

However, some customers from Bengaluru have driven all the way to Hosur to buy crackers. “Every year, we buy crackers from the shops in Tamil Nadu because that works out cheaper,” said Dominic Joseph of Bengaluru, who had come with his friend to buy crackers for his company staff.

Harish Kumar, another customer who had driven nearly 45 km, said, “I come here every year. This time, I am seeing a dip in the number of shops as well as the crowds.”

The slow trickle of customers keeps the traders’ hopes afloat. “People will probably come in a day before Deepavali. Many of them will get their bonuses and they will have free time over the weekend,” said V. Venkatesan, who sells crackers from his shop in Attibele.
Source - The Hindu

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