The first-of-its-kind time limit imposed on bursting firecrackers in view of the ongoing pandemic went up in the smoke as revellers from different parts of the twin-city indulged in high decibel fireworks well beyond 10 pm - the deadline permitted for bursting crackers.
In some parts of the twin-city like Kanakia in Mira Road, the intensity of the noise generated by the firecrackers grew after 9 pm as most people came out to celebrate the festival after performing Laxmi Poojan on Saturday night.
Days after allowing firecracker vendors to set up stalls at 22 open spaces across the twin-city, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had issued a notification that allowed fireworks between 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali and Gurupurab.
Apart from issuing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), tagged with an appeal to celebrate a crackerless Diwali, MBMC’s notification cited several guidelines and orders passed by the state pollution control board towards the implementation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules.
Despite these directives, people in many areas continued to burst crackers much after the stipulated deadline, even as the enforcement mechanism chose to remain mute spectators to the brazen illegalities which could trigger a spurt in Covid-19cases due to air pollution.
“I have directed all police stations in-charges under my jurisdiction to intensify vigilance and ensure that all mandated guidelines are implemented,” said ACP- Vilas Sanap.
To avoid crowding during Diwali and Chhath Puja, the Mira-Bhayander-Vasai Virar (MBVV) Police Commissionerate has issued the prohibitory orders which came into force on 12, November and will remain in-force till 20, November. While rising air pollution may also increase the severity of coronavirus cases, people are likely to be more vulnerable to the infection if the air they breathe is polluted.
Playing with Fire
In brazen violation of safety norms, several firecrackers have popped up amidst every nook and cranny of densely populated areas in the twin-city. However, the civic administration has chosen to play blind to illegal and hazardous activities.
Under the relevant sections of the Indian Explosive Act, it is binding upon the fireworks stall owners to obtain No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the police, fire department and the district authorities. Only licensed traders are allowed to sell firecrackers from their shops.