A fine of Rs. 1,000 or jail term or both would be imposed on those who defy the direction to avoid bursting crackers in court, school and hospital zones, according to Collector R. Palanisamy.

He was addressing a meeting of officials here on preventive and penal measures to be taken during the festive season.

Mr. Palanisamy said that crackers producing noise above 125 decibels should be avoided, and, bursting of crackers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. the next day was prohibited.

All government hospitals and Primary Health Centres would have adequate number of medical personnel to attend to emergency cases. In case of burns, people could call “108” ambulances operating from 18 places across the district.

Mr. Palanisamy called upon people to prevent atmospheric and noise pollution and guard against health hazards such as allergy, asthma and breathing problem caused by firecrackers.

District Revenue Officer N. Venkatachalam, Tindivanam Sub-Collector Rohini Ramdas, Deputy Superintendent of Police Madan, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board Assistant Engineer A. Rajan and Divisional Fire Officer Saravanakumar were present.