As the COVID-19 cases are increasing day by day in India, air pollution became an issue of concerns for the states. Thus, to curb the air pollution in Diwali, several states including Rajasthan and Delhi have banned firecrackers.
While some states have imposed a total ban, others have imposed a ban only on “imported” firecrackers. The decision has been taken in a bid to protect vulnerable people from the increase of air pollution amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s a list of the states which have banned firecrackers, in one form or another, this Diwali season:
The Delhi government banned firecrackers in the national capital in view of the increasing cases of COVID-19, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Twitter. "Reviewed corona situation in Delhi and preparedness with the chief secretary, health officials and all DMs (district magistrates). Corona cases have increased due to festival season n pollution. It was decided to...ban crackers in Delhi...," Kejriwal said.
The Rajasthan government on November 2 decided to impose a fine of Rs 10,000 on a shopkeeper if he/she is found selling any kind of firecrackers. The Ashok Gehlot-led administration also announced that if a person is found using or allowing any kind of fireworks will have to pay a penalty of Rs 2,000.
The Odisha government on November 3 banned the sale and use of firecrackers across the state during the festive season to check air pollution which can aggravate health conditions of COVID-19 patients.
The period of the ban is from November 10 to 30, according to a government order.
The people of the state burst firecrackers on the occasion of Deepavali and Kartik Purnima, which fell on November 14 and 30 respectively this year.
Chief Secretary A K Tripathy issued a direction to prohibit sale and use of firecrackers in all parts of the state from November 10 to 30.
The Sikkim government on November 3 imposed a complete ban on the use of firecrackers throughout the state in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
Chief Secretary S C Gupta issued an order under provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to impose a complete ban on bursting of firecrackers in the state till further orders
5. West Bengal
The Calcutta High Court on November 5 banned the use and sale of firecrackers in Kali Puja and Diwali, keeping in mind the Covid-19 pandemic situation in West Bengal.
Earlier, public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Calcutta High Court with regard to banning firecrackers during Kali Puja and Diwali in the state. The matter was heard before the division bench of justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee on Thursday.
The court also directed that the ban will also be in force during Jagaddhatri Puja, Chhath and Kartik Puja.
People should avoid bursting firecrackers during this Diwali as air pollution could pose a problem for coronavirus patients, the Maharashtra government said on November 5.
The state home department came out with guidelines ahead of the festival of lights, which will be celebrated under the shadow of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation on Thursday announced that it will ban bursting or lighting of all fire-crackers at public places during the upcoming Diwali festival.
Official sources said even the Maharashtra government is likely to impose similar prohibitions on firecrackers in public considering the grim Covid-19 scenario in many parts of the state and apprehensions of a second wave of the infection that may hit in winter.
The Union Territory of Chandigarh also issued a ban on selling and bursting of firecrackers of all types with immediate effect.
The sale and bursting of 'green crackers', as per Supreme Court guidelines, will be allowed during Diwali, the Karnataka government said. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had earlier said that the state will ban the firecrackers. However, he later changed his stance and appealed to the people to celebrate the festival in a simple way by using only green crackers.
The Uttar Pradesh government ordered a total ban on sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region and in such cities where the air quality is poor. According to the order, the ban on the sale and use of firecrackers will apply to Lucknow, Muzzafarnagar, Varanasi, Agra, Meerut, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Moradabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Baghpat and Bulandshahr.
The Haryana government allowed the sale and use of firecrackers for two hours on festivals, including Diwali, citing the economic impact on small traders. The state also allowed celebratory bursting of "green crackers" on occasions, including marriages.
People would be allowed to burst crackers for two hours - 8 pm to 10 pm - on Diwali, Gurupurab and Kartik Poornima, the order states. On Christmas and New Year, people can burst firecrackers from 11:55 pm to 12:30 am, it adds. Following directions of the National Green Tribunal, administrations in Kurukshetra and Yamunanagar banned firecrackers.