In order to avoid deterioration of the air quality in many cities due to the pollution caused by firecrackers, several states have banned the use of firecrackers during the festival of Diwali.
Poor air quality can further create problems for the Covid-19 patients. A study indicates that people living in areas with high air pollution are 11 percent more likely to die if they are infected with Covid-19.
Several states and union territories have banned the use of firecrackers during Diwali 2020. Let us take a look at the complete, partial or no ban on the sale and use of firecrackers:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from the midnight of November 9 to the midnight of November 30.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction will apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) fell under the ‘poor’ and above categories.
Acting tough ahead of Diwali, the Chandigarh administration on Friday imposed ban on bursting crackers till further order. The decision comes under the Disaster Management Act.
Haryana on Friday imposed complete ban on firecrackers to prevent the risk of spread of Covid-19 due to polluted atmosphere created by bursting of crackers.
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told the media that after a detailed discussion, it was decided to completely ban the sale of crackers in the state. A notification would be issued in this regard on Saturday, he added.
The West Bengal government has also imposed a ban on bursting of crackers on Kali Puja and Diwali. “West Bengal government will not allow bursting of firecrackers during Kali Puja and Diwali festivals to check air pollution and also because they are hazardous for Covid-19 patients,” PTI quoted state chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay saying.
The Rajasthan government also announced a ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Monday tweeted: “State govt has taken the decision to ban the sale and bursting of firecrackers in order to protect health of #COVID19 infected patients & public from poisonous smoke emanating due to fireworks. In this challenging corona pandemic time, protecting lives of ppl is paramount for govt." He also indicated that there would be strict action against the sale of firecrackers in the state.
Ashok Gehlot-led state government banned the use of firecrackers “to protect the health of COVID-19 infected patients and public from poisonous smoke emanating due to fireworks.”
On Tuesday, the Odisha government banned the sale and use of firecrackers from November 10 to 30. “The technical expert committee of the state government has recommended for the prohibition of burning of firecrackers to protect the vulnerable groups like elderly, children, persons with co-morbidities and others,” stated the notification issued by the office of special relief commissioner.
The Maharashtra government issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on preventive measures to contain Covid-19 during Diwali. The health minister Rajesh Tope on Thursday said that he prefers ‘firecracker-free’ Diwali to check pollution and Covid-19 spread.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on November 8 announced that his government would not impose any ban on firecrackers in the state in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he urged people to observe self-disciple and celebrate firecrackers-free Diwali.
OKarnataka has published guidelines for firecracker sales. The ground rules were issued by chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar, stating that firecrackers can only be sold from November 1 to 17. State Health Minister K Sudhakar on Thursday said firecrackers can badly impact the health of those who have already been infected by coronavirus.