The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) on Saturday issued a notification banning sale and use of all kinds of fireworks during Kali Puja, Diwali and other festivals this year following an order of the Calcutta High Court.
Earlier, the WBPCB had allowed sale and bursting of green fireworks only.
The pollution watchdog is holding meetings with police and administration to fine-tune strategies to stop supply of fireworks into the market and ensure that there is no bursting of firecrackers during the festivals, WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra said.
The Calcutta High Court on Friday banned the sale, purchase and use of all firecrackers during Kali Puja, Diwali, Chhath Puja, Jagadhatri Puja, Guru Nanak's birthday, Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations this year to check air pollution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Passing the order on a PIL seeking a ban, the court said the expression "firecrackers" will cover all types of sparklers as well as other similar materials, whether or not their bursting or burning involves any sound or light generation.
"The District Magistrates and Commissioners of Police/Superintendents of Police/ Police Authorities shall implement the directions. Daily action taken report is to be submitted to West Bengal Pollution Control Board in prescribed proforma," the WBPCB notification said.
Only two days back, the WBPCB had issued a notice allowing sale and bursting of green fireworks from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali and Kalipuja days, 6 am to 8 am on the day of Chhat puja and for a limited duration on the days of Christmas and New Years Eve.
The previous order has now become "defunct", an official said.
Babla Roy, chairman of Paschim Banga Atosh Bazi Unnayan Samity, an organisation of the state's fireworks sellers, claimed they have submitted a writ petition to the Supreme Court in the interest of the 31 lakh people involved in the industry.
The Supreme Court on Friday said there is no total ban on use of firecrackers and only those fireworks that contain Barium salts are prohibited.
"Complying with the honourable high court order, we have decided not to hold the fireworks fair in north Kolkata which was supposed to begin from next week before Diwali," he said.
Environmentalist S M Ghosh hailed the high court order and said it would have been difficult for the administration to differentiate between green crackers and other fireworks.
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