With the festival of lights just a few days away, the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) has allowed firecracker stalls to operate in the twin-city, but at the same time, it has appealed to the citizens to celebrate a crackerless Diwali to avoid air and noise pollution amidst the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The civic administration has identified 22 open spaces across the twin-city where around 120 firecracker vendors can establish their stalls and carry out their trading activities in a safer environment.
Urging citizens to avoid bursting crackers to curb noise and air pollution, the MBMC has issued a Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on preventive measures including- preference to less crowded places, practice social distancing, use of masks in public places, and frequent hand washing to contain the spread of Covid-19 during Diwali celebrations.
“We cannot afford to let our guard down even though the number of cases are steadily decreasing. The use of firecrackers should be minimized as much as possible,” said deputy municipal commissioner- Dr. Sambhaji Panpatte.
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. Several market places in the twin-city were crowded on Sunday raising serious concern about people disregarding the protocols.
While public events such as Diwali Pahat are not allowed and should be organized only on online platforms, an appeal has been made to create awareness and also set up camps to address the blood issue. 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.