- 22 Nov 2020
As Diwali approaches, the excitement to celebrate the festival of lights is marred by a huge concern as this Diwali has a threatening pandemic. Experts opine that more pollution will favour the virus spread, as it directly affects ACE2 receptors in lungs. Several states have banned firecrackers, reasoning the effects of the pandemic, while few states have refused to comply on the NGT order, citing one day ban to be ineffective.
As Vocal for Local slogan given by the Prime Minister reverberate across the country, cracker manufacturers face a blanket ban of sale on crackers in various states. While ecofriendly options like Diyas made out of cow Panchgavya (Five elements) is gaining momentum in the Indian markets, the cracker ban has been met with mixed response. The anti-Chinese sentiments are further affecting the sale of crackers in the Indian state, however even the local manufacturers of Maharashtra and Hyderabad have been affected and Traders have chosen to move to courts in the wake of the nationwide ban.
Image File : Panchgavya cow dung Diyas made by Janjatis of RSS in Bangalore.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed that there would be a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers between November 10 and 30 in all cities and towns across the country where the average ambient air quality in November fell under the ‘poor’ and above category.
Image File : NGT order directing the ban.
These are the states which banned firecrackers
The chairman of NGT sent notices to 18 states and UTs including Punjab and Assam. Odisha, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Sikkim, Delhi, West Bengal and Tripura have completely banned crackers.
The Delhi govt led by Arvind Kejriwal has imposed a ban on firecrackers between 7th-30 th November after a meeting with Chief Secretary Vijay Dev and the district magistrates. Diwali hasn't started yet, but the state's Air quality worsened on Tuesday, as resident's woke up to a pm10 AQI of 700+ in parts of the city.
As soon as the Autumn starts the air Quality in Delhi gets worsening. But notably the blame goes on the farmers of the states adjoining Delhi for burning of the agricultural residue. In addition to that hundreds of firecrackers are burst, even after knowing the dangerous effects they have on health, which results in the city turning into a Gas Chamber.
The Congress-led government forbidden the sale of firecrackers in the state and issued orders on 1st November.
After Rajasthan, Odisha, Delhi and Karnataka have also banned fireworks during Diwali because a pandemic affects people across religions. It is evident that pollution after fireworks will worsen coronavirus. Ban on crackers goes beyond religious affiliations and it is in the larger interest of mankind," Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said.
The Ashok Gehlot government administration had also decided to impose a penalty of Rs 10,000 to the person who sells amid the ban. And a person who is found using will have to give Rs 2000 as penalty for their actions.
West Bengal is going to celebrate crackers free Kali Puja, Chhath and Kartik Puja as the Calcutta High Court prohibited selling and bursting of firecrackers to curb pollution amid the Covid-19 pandemic which brought us to a new normal.
The West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and several other leaders have also appealed to the residents not to refrain from burning firecrackers due to health concerns.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation led by Shiv-Sena has enforced a ban on bursting of firecrackers, citing the effects of smoke and other pollutants on the health of COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM said, “I don’t want to impose an emergency by banning firecrackers. But I am placing my trust in you. Diwali is the festival of lights and you must avoid crowds and pollution. Don’t let coronavirus come in through the doors that you open for happiness and prosperity,” he added.
However the government made few relaxations for the people to burst a finite number of firecrackers such as 'Fuljhadi' and 'anar' on the evening of Laxmi Pujan on 14th November.
In the wake of Covid-19 crisis in the country, the Sikkim government imposed a blanket ban on the use of firecrackers throughout the state.
The Chief Secretary S C Gupta had issued an order under provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to impose a complete ban on bursting of firecrackers in the state until further orders.
On 3rd November, Naveen Patnaik issued a ban on bursting and the sale of firecrackers across the state during Diwali festival to halt the rise of Air Pollution which can have a serious impact on COVID-19.
The Chief secretary A K Tripathy, clarified that the government made this move, as winter is approaching and the bursting of firecrackers will have a dangerous effect amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Sale/use of all kinds of fire crackers banned in NCR - Muzaffarnagar, Agra, Varanasi, Meerut, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Moradabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Baghpat, Bulandshahr - from midnight Nov 9-10 to midnight of Nov 30-Dec 1, to be reviewd thereafter.” Said CMO UP, quoting ANI.
States which haven’t had banned Firecrackers
Meanwhile, The Assam and Punjab Governments will light up crackers for this Diwali as they rejected the orders from National Green Tribunal to ban firecrackers.
After necessary outrage from their supporters, Haryana has allowed bursting of crackers during specific time.
“As per the directive, city residents are allowed to burst crackers from 8 pm to 10 pm on November 14. A ban has been put on the sale, purchase or bursting of “series crackers” also known as “Lari”, as it spreads more air and noise pollution”, said Haryana government officials.
Many states strictly prohibited the use and sale of firecrackers for this Diwali festival in the view of Coronavirus pandemic as well to curb the Air Pollution. But the Shivraj Singh led government isn't on the same lines, as the CM responded to a Twitter user who was excited to know if mamaji has got any plans?
Madhya Pradesh is a state of happiness. We never ban happiness here. There is no restriction on firecrackers in the state.
“Yes, there is a ban on Chinese firecrackers. Celebrate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya, burst firecrackers and celebrate Diwali with great fervour,” Chouhan tweeted on 9th November.
मध्यप्रदेश ख़ुशियों का प्रदेश है। यहाँ पर हम ख़ुशियों पर कभी भी किसी तरह का प्रतिबंध नहीं लगाते। 😊— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) November 9, 2020
प्रदेश में पटाखों पर कोई प्रतिबंध नहीं है। हाँ, लेकिन चीनी पटाखों पर प्रतिबंध ज़रूर है।
आप भगवान राम के अयोध्या लौटने की ख़ुशी मनाये, पटाखे जलाये एवं धूम-धाम से दिवाली मनाये! 🙏🏽 https://t.co/VjVt9QClG5
We received many suggestions after we proposed a ban on firecrackers this #Diwali. People should celebrate in a simple manner considering the safety of their children & themselves. I request people to burst only green crackers & celebrate the festival in simple way: Karnataka CMO https://t.co/M3ILOkLEID— ANI (@ANI) November 6, 2020