Ahead of the festival of Diwali, several states and UT governments have taken a major decision to ban firecrackers due to the rising cases of coronavirus. The states include national capital Delhi, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan and Maharashtra has banned the sale and bursting of fire crackers during the festive season. The pollution caused by them increases the risk of COVID-19 patients. The air pollution in India as the winter sets in has been a matter of concern especially in the national capital and its surrounding areas.
Due to twin problems of Covid-19 and air pollution, a number of states have banned bursting of firecrackers this festive season. While some states have announced a total ban, others have only prohibited the use of “imported” firecrackers. Meanwhile, few other states are reportedly mulling a similar ban. Coronavirus cases have increased due to the festival season and pollution. It was decided to ban crackers in the national capital and ramp up medical infrastructure, among other measures. Ministers appealed people to shun firecrackers for the safety of their kids and family and celebrate Diwali together and won’t burst firecrackers in any condition. The Maharashtra Government cautioned against bursting crackers citing ecological concerns as it damages the environment, that adds to the air pollution and noise pollution. Some corporations in Maharashtra imposed a ban on the bursting of firecrackers at public places during Diwali in view of rising COVID-19 cases in the city and announced that violators shall be penalized and the SOPs in this regard would be issued shortly. Karnataka Government has done a rethink on the promised firecracker ban on Diwali and has now allowed “green” crackers. The state had banned firecrackers for Diwali earlier in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the pollution surge after Diwali can affect the situation. Bursting firecrackers would release a lot of smoke and other pollutants which would adversely impact the health of COVID-19 patients and increase the risk of infection among the other high-risk categories like children or senior citizens. When firecrackers are burst on Diwali, people are unable to breathe properly for around 3-4 hours late at night due to air pollution.