New Delhi: With the festival of lights Diwali just around the corner, several states have, in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the rising air pollution level, imposed various restrictions as a precautionary measure.
Initiating a series of preventive measures ahead of Diwali, some states have imposed a complete ban on firecrackers, while others have given nod to the use of only green crackers.
Amid Covid restrictions and increasing pollution, the states’ plan to celebrate Diwali in this way this year:
Delhi: The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has imposed a ban on bursting and sale of all types of firecrackers till January 1, 2022, in the national capital. The District Magistrates and Deputy Commissioners have been told to implement the directions issued by the DPCC last month.
Earlier on September 15, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on announced that there would be a complete ban on the usage, storage or sales of any type of firecrackers inside the city during the festival of Diwali.
“In view of the dangerous condition of Delhi’s pollution during Diwali for the past 3 years, like last year, a complete ban is being imposed on the storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers. So that people’s lives can be saved,” he tweeted.
Maharashtra: Issuing a new set of guidelines for the Diwali festival, the Maharashtra government had earlier this week asked the citizens to avoid the use of firecrackers in order to avoid noise and air pollution. The state government asked all to celebrate the festival by lighting lamps besides asking them to avoid crowding and large gatherings during the festival.
Punjab: The Punjab government has announced a two-hour window for bursting green firecrackers on Diwali across the state. The state government has allowed the use of green crackers in other parts of Punjab for a very short period during the festivals like Diwali, Gurupurab, Christmas and New Year Eve.
In addition, the sale and use of any kind of firecrackers will, as per the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), remain banned in Mandi Gobindgarh and Jalandhar districts of the state from the intervening night of October 28-29 to the midnight of December 31 to January 1 next year.
Karnataka: The Karnataka government has allowed the sale of only green firecrackers. The dealers, who have obtained permission for the sale of firecrackers starting from November 1 till November 10, will be allowed to install shops at designated areas, as per the state government’s guidelines.
The Karnataka government has also said that the shops should be installed at non-residential areas and open places, adding a permission letter from the officials should be displayed in the shops. The guidelines also mandate a 6-metre distance between the shops and proper ventilation.
Uttar Pradesh: The Uttar Pradesh government has banned the sale and use of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other areas where the air quality is in the ‘poor’ category. The order issued by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government said the use of green firecrackers will be allowed in areas where air quality will be moderate or better.
West Bengal: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led government has allowed bursting of only green crackers between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. during Diwali, Kali Puja and Chhath. All officials have been instructed to keep a strict vigil on the use and sale of firecrackers.
Bihar: The Bihar government has decided to continue its complete ban on the sale and the use of crackers in fours districts and cities, including Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur and Hajipur. The Bihar State Pollution Control Board has allowed all other cities in the state to use only green crackers for two hours from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Diwali.
Assam: The Assam government too has imposed a ban on firecrackers during Diwali and permitted bursting only green crackers for two hours between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. The move has been taken in view of the current Covid-19 situation and the possibility of a third wave besides the air pollution.
Gujarat: The Gujarat government has announced a two-hour window from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for bursting crackers during Diwali. Only licensed shopkeepers have been allowed to sell fire crackers and there is prohibition on its sale/purchase through e-commerce websites.