Diwali 2020: List of states, UTs in India which have ordered complete ban on sale and bursting of firecrackers
Experts have warned that bursting firecrackers may worsen the air quality and increase the risks for COVID patients and those who have already recovered from it
India will be celebrating Diwali, Kali Puja, and Chhath Puja in the month of November. People usually burst crackers to celebrate these festivals. However, this year, several states and Union Territories have imposed a complete ban on the sale and use of all forms of firecrackers.
The ban has come amid the onset of winter and a rise in COVID-19 cases in several states across India. Experts have also warned that worsening air quality — due to smoke and pollutants from bursting firecrackers during the upcoming festivals — may increase the risks to COVID-19 patients and those who have recovered from the novel coronavirus.
Here is a list of states and UTs that have imposed a ban on the sale and use of firecrackers this year:
Delhi and NCR
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has put a blanket ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from midnight of 9 November to the midnight of 30 November.
The NGT has also directed states and UTs to initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of its potential in increasing the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Maharashtra, the Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation has announced that strict actions will be taken against those who violate the rules and burst firecrackers in Mumbai this Diwali. A report by MoneyControl.com said that the Birhanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed a ban on bursting firecrackers on public and private properties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the BMC has made an exception for Laxmi Pujan, which falls on 14 November, and allowed the usage of small firecrackers like fuljhadi (sparklers) and anar or paus (fountain) within private premises.
Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that the state has not imposed a ban on firecrackers but urged "self-discipline" during Diwali celebrations.
The Calcutta High Court had on 5 November ordered a ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers and fireworks for Diwali, Kali Puja, Chhath Puja and Kartik Puja in the state of West Bengal. The decision has been taken to curb air pollution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government of Odisha has also banned the sale and use of firecrackers across the state to keep the pollution levels under check. The ban will be effective from 10 to 30 November.
The state government said that any person found violating the order shall be punished under the provision of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and other relevant laws.
After initially banning the sale and use of firecrackers in Karnataka, the BS Yediyurappa-led government in the state recently modified the order, saying that people are allowed to sell and use "green firecrackers" during Diwali 2020.
As per a report by The News Minute, "green firecrackers" are developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).
The firecrackers are claimed to be without lithium, arsenic, lead, and barium. They are also called Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL) crackers.
The Government of Haryana has also imposed a blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers in the state. The decision was taken to restrict the risk of the spread of COVID-19 due to smoke and pollution emitted by firecrackers.
The Ashok Gehlot-led government in Rajasthan has imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers on Diwali 2020 to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.
A report by Hindustan Times said that a penalty of Rs 2,000 will be imposed on anyone found violating the order.
The Sikkim government has implemented a ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the state. The decision has been taken to safeguard the health of COVID-19 patients and those who have recovered from the novel coronavirus.
A ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers has been imposed in Chandigarh as well. The decision was taken under the Disaster Management Act.
According to a report in Tribuneindia.com, people found violating the orders will be penalised and legal action will be taken against them.
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