Environment

West Bengal government orders a ban on firecrackers, to allow only green crackers

Published : October 27, 2021 19:29 IST

Firecrackers displayed in a shop at Haral village in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal, on October 26. Photo: Swapan Mahapatra/PTI

With the number of COVID cases rising in the State, the West Bengal government ordered a “complete ban” on the sale and bursting of all kinds of firecrackers.

With the number of COVID cases rising in the State, the West Bengal government ordered a “complete ban” on the sale and bursting of all kinds of firecrackers, except green crackers. The bursting of green crackers will be allowed for two hours (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.) during Deepavali; 2 hours (6 a.m. to 8 a.m.) during Chhat Puja; and for 85 minutes (11:55 p.m. – 1:20 a.m.) during Christmas and New Years’ eve.

The order, issued by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), stated that the decision was taken “in compliance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court orders… directions of the Hon’ble Green Tribunal… and also considering the fact that the bursting of firecrackers releases harmful chemicals, having severe impact on the conditions of COVID-19 positive persons and persons staying in home isolation, and considering the latest assessment of the Air Quality across the State of West Bengal showing that the Air Quality of the districts and Kolkata is moderate/satisfactory level till 3rd week of October, 2021.” Other than the festivals specified by the WBPCB, “prior permission of the district magistrates/Commissioners of Police/Superintendents of Police shall be required for use of only green crackers for a limited period (not more than two hours)”.

COVID cases in the State have been on the rise since the Durga Puja ended on October 15. On October 10, the day before the festival started, the number of fresh cases was 760; on October 23, eight days after the Pujas ended, the number increased to 974. As of October 27, the total number of active COVID cases in the State stood at 8,097, with 976 new cases reported on the day itself. Fifteen people died on October 27, taking the total COVID death toll in the State to 19,111. At present 1,165 COVID patients are in hospital and 6,593 are in home isolation.

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