Panel formed last year fails to come up with report

Following reports of loss of vision of over 300 persons, particularly children, during the Deepavali festival every year in the State, the Government had last year planned to ban bursting of firecrackers on roads and in residential areas.

A committee led by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs S. Suresh Kumar had discussed with officials from the departments of Home, Law, Fire and Emergency Services and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and Minto Ophthalmic Hospital on the proposal to ban bursting of certain varieties of firecrackers during Deepavali and other festivals. However, nothing concrete came of it.

Mr. Kumar told The Hindu on Wednesday that he had asked KSPCB officials to write to the Union Department of Explosives to bring in regulations on bursting crackers. “Although we had planned to set up a committee to discuss the issue and suggest ways of regulating bursting of loud and heavy crackers, we could not do so. Only the Union Department of Explosives is authorised to do so,” he said.

The committee was supposed to study the laws governing fireworks in the U.S. and the U.K. and explore the possibility of whether any such laws could be enacted in Karnataka. Based on the report, the Government would frame a law or amend the existing law for its strict enforcement. “But I was told the State Government was not authorised to take such decisions,” he said.

Expressing concern over the increasing injuries year after year, Mr. Kumar said it was difficult to regulate the sale as most people bought fire crackers from neighbouring places in Tamil Nadu. “Even if we regulate the sale in the city, it is difficult to control people buying them directly from other States,” he said.

One of the solutions being considered was bursting of crackers at a designated place, where people could enjoy the spectacle of colours. “The Police Department is working on that,” he added.

  • Only Union Department of Explosives is authorised to bring in regulations: Kumar
  • ‘Difficult to regulate sale as most people buy crackers from Tamil Nadu'