KATHMANDU, Nepal- The charm of Tihar has decreased after the government impose unofficial ban on use of firecrackers, one of the source of entertainment and also a gesture to enhance Tihar celebrations.
Firecrackers popularly known as pataka have witnessed a decline this Tihar after the government impose ‘ban’ citing the security reasons on the eve of elections. The firecrackers are otherwise often considered an ingredient to brighten up the festival of lights.
Though the traders say they have seen a decrease in the sale of firecrackers for the last few years, this year only few moments of breaking firecrackers are seen in the Capital city.
With Deewapali on the run, noises of firecrackers are near to nil in the Capital as police have made their campaign stern. The police have maintained strict monitoring in checking at entry points to Kathmandu and areas prone to firecracker sales. Entry points to Kathmandu have also been equipped with sniffer dogs to prevent firecracker transport into the Capital. The entry points include Markhu, Nagdhunga, Thankot and Pharping with 24-hour security checks.
Police said, the decrease is also due to public awareness. “This year, we have only nabbed firecrackers in small amounts, unlike previous years when businessmen were transporting firecrackers worth millions of rupees,” according to the Police. “We have also been creating awareness through public announcements which started before Dashain and our regular monitoring is also going on”.
Kishor Sah from Shantinagar who dutifully sold firecrackers for years said that the sales had significantly decreased from last year. “I didn’t risk selling firecrackers this year because the police consider it illegal and the sales have dropped,” said Sah. “Earlier, people especially teenagers purchased various kinds of firecrackers, but now the times have changed,” he added.
The police said the upcoming election as another reason for the minimized use of firecrackers. “This is a crucial time for security and people have realized that.”
Firecracker users are booked under the Explosives Act while police plan to charge according to age groups. The police also plan to make a regular monitoring with mobile vans and quick response teams starting Sunday until Bhaitika on Wednesday.