Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has asked people of the State to celebrate Deepavali in a “simple manner” and refrain from bursting firecrackers in the light of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. He advised people to use only “green crackers” instead.
While the Chief Minister had earlier in the day told presspersons that the government would “ban” bursting firecrackers, a communique from his office in the evening did not announce a blanket ban.
It said that several suggestions had been made on banning sale and use of firecrackers. “Government has taken several measures to stem the spread of COVID-19. In this context, it is appropriate to celebrate Deepavali in a simple manner in the interest of public, particularly children,” it said. Further, the Chief Minister urged people to use only green crackers.
The Health and Family Welfare Department and a panel of experts on COVID-9 had suggested a ban on firecrackers in the light of the pandemic. Health Minister D. Sudhakar had said that a final decision on the issue would be taken by the Chief Minister.
Already, Delhi, Odisha, and Rajasthan have banned use of firecrackers during Deepavali. The National Green Tribunal has already expanded the jurisdiction of hearing cases on pollution by use of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region and issued notices to 18 States, including Karnataka, and the Union Territories where air quality is beyond norms.
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