Haryana CM does U-turn on cracker ban in the State

Deepavali celebrations in Gurugram last year.   | Photo Credit: MANOJ KUMAR

In a U-turn over ban on firecrackers in the State, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Sunday announced that a two-hour window would be allowed to sell and burst crackers on Deepavali.

In a tweet from his personal twitter handle in the evening, Mr. Lal said that two-hour relaxation would be allowed on Deepavali to sell and burst crackers. He said the decision was taken in adherence to the National Green Tribunal’s directions in view of increase in air pollution.

Earlier, Mr. Lal, on November 6, had said that there would be complete ban on sale and use of firecrackers in the State.

Mixed response

Though the traders welcomed the decision, environmentalists and citizens expressed shock over the about-turn saying that they were left “disappointed”.

Ashok Kumar, a firecracker dealer in Gadauli Khurd village here, said the traders had already suffered huge loss during the lockdown and now the complete ban on crackers would have spelt a doom for them. He welcomed the decision saying that it would help the firecracker dealers to make good the loss, adding that they all had green crackers adhering to the norms.

“But the directions from the Chief Minister are not clear. The administration is in doubt whether to allow sale of firecrackers for two hours daily till Deepavali or only on the day of the festival,” said Mr. Kumar.

Expresses shock

Neelam Ahluwalia, Aravalli Bachao Campaigner, said: “We were hoping to see tough decisions being taken by the government to control air pollution by sending notices to all RWAs and market associations on firecracker ban. Instead, we are shocked to see the Chief Minister make a U-turn on his earlier decision to ban sale of crackers. How can the Chief Minister and the Haryana administration ensure that people will burst crackers only for two hours on Deepavali?”

“North India is a gas chamber right now. Delhi, Gurugram, and NCR’s air quality is in ‘severe category’. With AQI of above 450, my eyes are burning sitting inside the house. Why do we want to add more toxicity to the already poisonous air by burning firecrackers?,” asked Anu Prasad Dhawan, a concerned Gurugram citizen.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 1:13:33 AM |

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