Karnataka has joined a growing list of states that have banned firecrackers amid the coronavirus pandemic just days before Diwali. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said they decided to ban firecrackers in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Poor air quality can have a big impact on health as the COVID-19 virus often impairs the functioning of the lungs. Experts widely believe that poor air quality puts those with co-morbidities at a higher risk. The virus is known to affect the respiratory system.
“We discussed this and are taking the decision to ban fireworks this Deepavali. It has been discussed and order is being issued. This is because of COVID-19,” Mr. Yediyurappa told reporters today.
Meanwhile, few other states are reportedly mulling a similar ban. Here’s a list of some states where firecrackers have been banned, in one form or another, this Diwali season:
Chief minister Ashok Gehlot tweeted on Monday his government has taken the decision to ban the sale and bursting of firecrackers to protect the health of Covid-19 patients, as well as to protect the public from the poisonous smoke emanating from the firecrackers. The state government has also announced a penalty of Rs 2,000 on anyone found violating the order.
A day after Rajasthan, the Odisha government, too, announced a ban on the sale of bursting firecrackers, from November 10-30. In an order, Odisha chief secretary AK Tripathy said, “Any person found violating this order shall be punished under the provision of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, and other relevant laws.
On Wednesday, the Sikkim government also announced a blanket ban on firecrackers to safeguard the health of Covid-19 patients and those who have recovered from the disease. “The number of cases has been on the decline and it was felt the use of firecrackers would increase air pollution that could be hazardous for Covid-19 patients,” a notification signed by chief secretary SK Gupta said.
The national capital, which perennially witnesses toxic smog in days after Diwali, is also facing Covid-19 this time. Amid a massive surge in fresh daily infections in recent days, including record highs, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced a ban on the use of all firecrackers till November 30.
5) West Bengal
Also on Thursday, the Calcutta High Court banned the use of firecrackers in the state on Kali Puja, Diwali, and Chhath Puja to check the spread of Covid-19 in the state. “The court has banned the sale and use of fireworks and crackers during Kali Puja, Diwali and Chhath Puja this year. There would be no immersion processions this year,” said lawyer Sabyasachi Chatterjee, who had filed the PIL in the court seeking orders to this effect.
Maharashtra on Friday issued guidelines for curbing the spread of Covid-19 during Diwali, urging citizens to avoid bursting crackers. However, in Mumbai, the state capital’s civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Thursday announced it will ban the bursting of firecrackers at public places in the city. The agency also warned of penalizing the violators.
States like Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have banned the sale and distribution of “imported” firecrackers.
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