Haryana’s BJP government on Sunday announced a complete ban on the use of firecrackers in 14 districts ahead of the Hindu festival Diwali. The ban has been implemented with immediate effect.
“There will be a total ban on sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Faridabad, Gurugram, Jhajjar, Jind, Karnal, Mahendergarh, Nuh, Palwal, Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak and Sonipat,” news agency PTI quoted a government order on the regulation of sale and use of fire crackers in the state.
The order will also apply to other cities and towns where the average ambient air quality for November (as per last years data) is termed ‘poor.’
The government order, announced just before Diawali, said that the bursting of crackers during the Hindu festival and other festivals such as Gurupurab will be allowed only from 8 pm to 10 PM.
Air quality in Delhi and its surrounding states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh deteriorates due to the rising air pollution during Diwali every year, causing huge health risks to residents. The reigion’s poor air quality continues to pose severe health risks all through the winter when farmers burn their stubble.
The issue of deteriorating air quality has in the past drawn the attention of the Supreme Court. But, nothing effective has been implemented by the government to tackle the menace of air pollution.
Banning of firecrackers during Diwali has often left Hindutva fanatics seething as they alleged a ploy to target Hindu festivals in the guise of curbing pollution.