The city police have given no-objection certificates (NOC) to firecracker traders to sell crackers in 51 places in the city, mostly playgrounds and school grounds.
The police took the initiative to grant NOCs to sell crackers in playgrounds, school grounds and private places where crackers are unlikely to cause any harm to the public. The police had cancelled NOCs to traders who run shops in narrow lanes in areas such as Mamulpet, Sultanpet and Avenue Road.
Recently, the high court also refused to grant a stay on cancellation of licence to firecracker traders who approached the court against the police commissioner’s decision to withdraw NOCs issued to them.
The commissioner had withdrawn NOCs in December 2011, as the traders had stored inflammable crackers in lanes which were too narrow for fire department vehicles and ambulances to enter in case of emergencies.
The NOCs are given by the Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services Department as per the government’s order number HD 1069 PCC 79 issued on April 11, 1980 to the BBMP which handed over the list of applications to the city police.
The city police, which got the list of 15,391 applications for NOCs, gave permission to 517 shops in 51 places. A senior police officer said: “We have issued NOCs to 517 shops near playgrounds. Every year, we write the names of 15,391 shops in a small paper and pick the select ones like the way winners are selected in a lottery.” These 517 shops in 51 places are permitted to sell crackers from November 8 to 15. Each shopkeeper paid `3,000 for the NOC granted.