Many states in India have ordered to ban bursting of firecrackers this Diwali and go green citing major problems with pollution and COVID-19 threat in the country. While some states have announced a total ban, others have only prohibited the use of “imported” firecrackers.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday issued notice to the Environment Ministry, the Central Pollution Control Board, and others on whether the use of crackers should be banned from November 7 to 30. “COVID cases in Delhi may go up to 15,000 per day if pollution increases. The use of green crackers will not remedy the situation. The smoke will choke and may create a gas chamber like situation. It will lead to poor visibility, hazy conditions, and asphyxia,” the application added. After this, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a ban on the use of all firecrackers till November 30.
Following similar steps and preventing air pollution and containing the virus many other states had also issued similar orders of banning bursting or sale of firecrackers this festive season.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted on Monday that the Rajasthan government has taken the decision to ban the sale and bursting of firecrackers to protect the health of Covid-19 patients, as well as to protect the public from the poisonous smoke emanating from the firecrackers. The state government has also announced a penalty of Rs 2,000 on anyone found violating the order.
A day after Rajasthan, the Odisha government, too, announced a ban on the sale of bursting firecrackers, from November 10-30. In an order, Odisha chief secretary AK Tripathy said, “Any person found violating this order shall be punished under the provision of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and other relevant laws.
On Wednesday, the Sikkim government also announced a blanket ban on firecrackers to safeguard the health of Covid-19 patients and those who have recovered from the disease.
On Thursday, the Calcutta High Court banned the use of firecrackers in the state on Kali Puja, Diwali, and Chhath Puja to check the spread of Covid-19 in the state.
Maharashtra on Friday issued guidelines for curbing the spread of Covid-19 during Diwali, urging citizens to avoid bursting crackers. However, in Mumbai, the state capital’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Thursday announced that they will ban the bursting of firecrackers at public places in the city and has also warned of penalising the violators.
Some states like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have banned the sale and distribution of “imported” firecrackers.