Ahead of the festive season, especially Diwali on November 4, several states have imposed restrictions on fireworks and have also announced Covid-19 measures to check the spread of the virus. While some states have banned fireworks, others have imposed partial bans on green crackers.
The Supreme Court on Friday asked states and union territories to “strictly comply” with its order regarding exploding fireworks even as it made clear that the ban was on fireworks other than green and low-emissions (improved crackers).
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News18 takes a look at state and metro restrictions this holiday season:
The Delhi Pollution Control Commission has ordered a complete ban on the sale and detonation of fireworks in the national capital until January 1, 2022. Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier announced the ban on fireworks on September 15, saying it was essential to save lives.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will perform Diwali Puja at Thyagaraj Stadium, as his government is constructing a replica of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. According to officials, a replica of the temple is being built as part of the government’s “Delhi Ki Diwali” celebrations.
Officials said the temple version will be part of the stage where the puja will be performed. Diwali Puja will be broadcast live.
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Maharashtra government has urged people not to set off crackers on this Diwali and has issued directives keeping in mind air pollution and Covid-19. He urged people to celebrate Diwali by lighting a lamp and avoiding fireworks. The state government has also asked the people not to crowd the shopping market on Diwali and to follow the rules of Corona.
Heavy vehicle ban in Ghaziabad
Before the festive season, Ghaziabad Traffic Police issued a diversion plan and stopped entry of heavy vehicles into the city. Officials said the plan will go into effect from October 29 to November 7.
SP (Traffic) Ramanand Kushwaha said that heavy vehicles will be diverted from Lal Kuan to Loha Mandi. A report in the Times of India, stated that vehicles from there will take Vivekananda Bridge to go to Hapur, Alt Center and Raj Nagar.
2-hour window for green crackers in Punjab
The Punjab government has announced a two-hour window to set off green fireworks on Diwali and Gurpur across the state. It has imposed a complete lockdown in Jalandhar and Mandi Gobindgarh, from midnight Wednesday onwards due to poor air quality index (AQI) levels.
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The state government has banned the manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and use of fireworks in Punjab and added that only green crackers will be allowed for sale and use. The government order stated that during Diwali, crackers will be allowed to set off from 8 to 10 pm.
The timing of the fireworks has been restricted to 35 minutes on Christmas and New Years Eve. Blowing out biscuits is allowed from 11:55 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Christmas and from 11:55 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on New Year’s.
Calcutta High Court bans fireworks
The Calcutta High Court on Friday banned the sale, purchase and use of all fireworks during the Kali Puja, Diwali and other festivities this year to check air pollution amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The court, in passing the order on the Personal Protection Act seeking a ban, said that the term fireworks would cover all kinds of sparks as well as other similar substances, whether or not their explosion or combustion involved any sound or light generation.
“The state shall ensure that no firecrackers of any kind are ever used, displayed or exploded during the celebrations of Kali Puja and Diwali as well as Chat Puja, Jagadhatri Puja, Guru Nanak birthday, Christmas and New Year celebrations this year,” the court ordered, and the author’s section board ordered From Judges Sabyasachi Bhattacharya and Anirudha Roy that only wax or oil-based diapers may be used on occasions.
Uttar Pradesh government bans fireworks in NCR district
The Uttar Pradesh government has said that there will be a complete ban on the sale and use of all types of fireworks in NCR and all cities where air quality falls into the ‘poor’ category or higher.
Earlier, the Supreme Court on Thursday dispelled the impression that it is against a particular group or society by banning fireworks and said that it does not allow the rights of citizens to be violated under the guise of enjoyment.
Read also | NGT bans fireworks in MP on Diwali; Green crackers are allowed to be used in areas with low pollution levels
RT-PCR report is mandatory in Surat after Diwali break
In Surat, Gujarat, the department has ordered those entering the state after the Diwali holiday to take a negative RT-PCR test for Covid-19, which does not exceed 72 hours. Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) officials have clarified that the rule will apply particularly to those going out of the state and not to travelers within Gujarat, the Times of India reported.
Ban firecrackers in Assam
The Assam Pollution Control Authority has imposed a blanket ban on the detonation and sale of firecrackers in the state. According to a report in India today, the council allowed the selling and blasting of green biscuits for only two hours, from 8pm to 10pm during Diwali, from 6am to 8am during Chhath Puja and on Christmas and New Years Eve. From 11:55 pm to 12:30 am.
A priority destination for J&K and Uttarakhand on Diwali
Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand are on the priority list of Gujaratis who will spend this Diwali holiday, after about 18 months during Covid restrictions. A report in The Indian Express said tour operators are noting that Kerala, which used to be among the preferred destinations for Gujarat, is off their tourist radar, due to the Covid-19 situation in that state.
Travel agents say Uttarakhand is the second preferred option despite reports of heavy rain and landslides. Rajasthan also remains among the people’s favorite destinations in Gujarat.
NGT bans fireworks in MP
The National Green Court (NGT) banned fireworks in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday due to high pollution levels, however, people in areas with low Air Quality Index (AQI) can only set off green crackers for two hours on Diwali.
Besides, the green panel offered a relaxing half hour of fireworks from 11.55 pm to 12.30 am on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Two volunteer activists in Jabalpur have mobilized the NGT seeking to ban fireworks in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising pollution levels. After the hearing was completed on Wednesday, NGT booked the matter.