As India prepares to celebrate Diwali, states and union territories have issued directives restricting the use of firecrackers in accordance with Supreme Court (SC) orders.
The apex court said on 29 October, that celebrations cannot be at the cost of citizens' health. It further clarified that there is no complete ban on firecrackers and only those which contain barium salts were prohibited.
“It is made clear that there is no total ban on use of firecrackers. Only those firecrackers are banned which are found to be injurious to health and affecting the health of the citizens, more particularly the senior citizens and the children," the bench of Justices MR Shah and AS Bopanna said.
Here is everything you need to know about the official restrictions in states that have banned firecrackers.
The Delhi government has put a blanket ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in view of the city's deteriorating air quality, as per Livemint.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on 28 September ordered a complete ban on firecrackers in the city till 1 January, 2022.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai who launched the "Patake Nahi, Diya Jalao" campaign on Wednesday, 27 October, said, “The pollution levels in Delhi are very high around Diwali due to stubble burning in neighbouring states. The use of crackers during the Diwali season becomes very fatal. Especially when it comes to the elderly and the children, it can be very dangerous."
Haryana has banned the sale and use of firecrackers in 14 districts near Delhi, as per NDTV.
The 14 districts are: Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Faridabad, Gurugram, Jhajjar, Jind, Karnal, Mahendragarh, Nuh, Palwal, Panipat, Rewari, Sonipat and Rohtak.
The government further notified that the orders will be applicable to all cities and towns where, as per last year's data, average of ambient air quality during the month of November is in "poor" category. Green crackers will be allowed in cities with moderate air quality.
"The cities/town/areas in which air quality is moderate or below, the timings for use and bursting of crackers, on Diwali days or any other festivals like Gurupurab, etc will strictly be from 8 pm till 10 pm only. For Chatt, the same will be from 6 am to 8 am. On Christmas and New Year Eve, when such fireworks start around midnight, i.e. from 12 am, it will be from 11:55 pm till 12:30 am only," said the government order.
Assam's Pollution Control Board (PCB) issued a notification on 22 October imposing a complete ban on bursting and sale of all kinds of firecrackers, making an exception for green ones, as per The Times of India.
As per the notification, green crackers can be burst for two hours during Diwali from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm and from 6:00 am to 8:00 am during Chhath puja. The timing for Christmas and New Years eve is fixed from 11:55 pm to 12:30 am.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the order was issued without "any consultation" with the state government and soon a new decision on the sale and use of firecrackers will be taken.
The Chhattisgarh government issued guidelines allowing bursting of firecrackers during Diwali and Guruparva from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm. The timings for Chhath Puja is 6:00 am to 8:00 am, and 11:55 pm to 12:30 am for New Year and Christmas.
The sale of firecrackers producing high-decibel sounds in violation of prescribed limits will be prohibited. Sale of crackers has been banned.
Chandigarh has put a complete ban on the sale and use of firecrackers of all kinds for preventing the spread of COVID-19 due to polluted atmosphere.
"The decision has been taken keeping in view the ongoing COVID situation, order of National Green Tribunal and Disaster Management Act," said the government order.
The Karnataka government has allowed the use and sale of only green crackers, following the Supreme Court's clarification that there was no complete ban on crackers, The Indian Express reported.
The government has specified that dealers who have taken prior permission can sell green crackers from 1 November to 10 November at assigned areas.
Sale and use of any kind of firecrackers is prohibited in the cities of Mandi Gobindgarh and Jalandhar from midnight of 28-29 October to the midnight of 31 December of 2021-01 January of 2022.
As per The Tribune, Punjab government has banned the sale and use of non-green crackers. It has prohibited the distribution, stock, sale, and use of clustered firecrackers. The sale of crackers online is banned accordingly.
The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has banned the sale and use of all kinds of fireworks during upcoming festivals.
The decision came after Calcutta High Court ordered a complete ban on all firecrackers, including green crackers till 31 December. The court has banned the use, as well as the sale of crackers.
The Rajasthan government issued an order banning the sale and use of all firecrackers from 1 October to 31 January 2022, as per Livemint.
It later reconsidered, and permitted the use and sale of green crackers in the state, except in areas that come under the National Capital Region (NCR).
The use of green crackers will be allowed on Diwali, Gurupurab and other festivals from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, during Chhath Puja from 6:00 am to 8:00 am and on Christmas and New Year from 11:55 pm to 12:30 am.
Firecrackers will continue to be banned in cities with poor air quality.
Tamil Nadu government has banned the selling, using, manufacturing and storage of "laaris" and firecrackers containing barium salts, following the Supreme Court order.
(With inputs from Livemint, NDTV, and The Indian Express.)