|City`s biggest cracker market on Palm Beach Road in Vashi
Deepavali is the festival of crackers and fireworks and in Navi Mumbai, Vashi hosts the biggest cracker market of the city.
“Earlier, cracker shops used to be located amidst residential societies. This posed a major safety threat in case of a fire accident. In 1986, CIDCO brought together twelve such crackers shops at one place by allotting an open ground opposite Vashi bus depot. Today Vishnudas Bhave Auditorium has come up here. As years went by the allotted space too kept changing. Similar practice was followed by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation when it came into existence in 1992. A couple of years later it provided a fixed market space for them on temporary basis (10 days),” says Mukund Vishwasrao, president of Navi Mumbai Pataka Sangathan.
Vashi ward officer Anil Naik informs, “We have allocated a full stretch along Palm Beach road just behind St. Lawrence High School. This spot was chosen considering the safety of the residents and to ensure easy and comfortable transaction for sellers and buyers. Last Deepavali, 150 stalls were allotted, 80 to Navi Mumbai Patakha Sangathan and 70 to Vashi Nagar Patakha Sangathan. This is the highest in the city compared to any other nodes which have anything between 25 and 100 stalls. We are expecting the same number of shops this year too. The consumer gets the benefit of bargaining and buying crackers of choice at one place only”.
Concerned residents say that the space chosen for the cracker market is accessible only to those having their own vehicles. Secondly, Palm Beach road is one of the busiest roads. Due to this it witnesses huge traffic jams as well as accidents. Instead the corporation should have chosen a playground.
Vishwasrao begs to differ saying, “In today’s world, people have no time and secondly there are no playgrounds available with government authorities. Considering these factors this is the best spot.”
NMMC Fire Officer Vijay Rane informs, “To ensure safety of people our team of firemen will remain stationed at the venue 24X7.”
Interested buyers can visit the market from October 11 to 19.