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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Traders hard sell green revelry

After schoolchildren, it is the turn of businessmen to launch a safe and green Diwali campaign in this steel city.

Members of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) are spreading awareness through text messages, billboards and personal interaction about celebrating the festival of lights with serious concern for both health and environment.

This is the first time that any social organisation here has taken such a measure.

For starters, the SCCI put up two hoardings at Bistupur police station and Kalimati Road in Sakchi on Monday evening, encouraging people to celebrate Diwali in an eco-friendly way.

SCCI vice-president Suresh Sonthalia said members had welcomed the idea to advocate customers visiting their respective business establishments against high-decibel and smoke-emitting firecrackers.

“We are also guiding our clients on precautions needed to be taken to avoid fire mishaps during Diwali. Our instructions are fairly simple. Revellers are being advised not to bend over and ignite crackers or light them inside containers; parents are being told not to allow children light fireworks alone; and everyone is being advised not to carry firecrackers in pockets,” he said.

Text messages being sent to customers are offering medical tips like rinsing burns with cold running water, keeping ointment ready at home and taking medical help for serious injuries.

The oldest traders’ body in the state, the SCCI was constituted in 1950 and, currently, has close to 1,100 members. It is also the largest body looking after business interests in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts.

Blaze blunder?

While the East Singhbhum administration is wishing the city a safe and happy Diwali, district fire officer Mahanand Singh is complaining of manpower crunch.

He said that against the sanctioned staff strength of 50, they had only 16 trained firemen, three drivers and two havildars at the state-owned Golmuri fire station.

“There are also three fire tenders instead of required 10. But, we will do our best with what we have to ensure a safe Diwali,” he said, adding that Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Powers would also press their vehicles into service if there was an emergency.

Dhalbhum SDO Subodh Kumar, however, said fire arrangements were in order. “The fire station is located within a radius of 4km from all major markets like Bistupur and Sakchi. Fire hydrants are in place with water supply from Jusco. Civil defence wardens in different localities have been alerted, while members of Indian Red Cross Society will keep first aid kits handy,” he added.