Ahead of Diwali, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Monday banned bursting of firecrackers in public places under its jurisdiction. The decision has been taken in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The civic body said that use of soundless firecrackers like 'phooljhadi', 'anar' allowed between 8pm till 10pm on Diwali only. According to BMC's circular, violators will be booked under the Epidemics Act and Disaster Management Act. The circular also cautions people that hand sanitisers and disinfectant liquids could be inflammable so adequate care is taken while using them around firecrackers.
In a circular, the BMC also appealed citizens to celebrate Diwali with due precaution and by following COVID-19 protocol. The BMC decision follows the state government's appeal to citizens to avoid bursting firecrackers this Diwali as the resultant pollution could cause breathing problems among COVID-19 patients.
On Sunday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had advised citizens to avoid polluting firecrackers. He also appealed people to avoid bursting firecrackers in public places. "I don't want to enforce a ban. Let us have faith and trust in each other," he said.
He said Delhi is seeing a surge in coronavirus cases, adding itis said pollution was the cause. "Let us have self control and restrain from bursting firecrackers which will lead to pollution. Let us not waste nine months' of hard work against the pandemic during four days of Diwali celebrations," he said.
Ahead of Diwali, several states and Union Territory (UT) governments have decided to impose a ban on firecrackers and its sale. Meanwhile, in a bid to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from worsening owing to poor air quality, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the National Capital Region from midnight of November 9 to midnight of November 30.