Diwali & Kali Puja: Bursting of only 'green crackers' allowed from 8 to 10 pm
Kolkata: The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has allowed a two-hour window for bursting of only green crackers during Deepawali, Chatth Puja and 35 minutes during Christmas and New Years Eve.
In an order issued by WBPCB, a complete ban has been imposed on the sale and bursting of all kinds of crackers except green crackers in the state. The two-hour window during Deepawali will be from 8 to 10 pm and from 6 to 8 am during Chhath. For celebrations of Christmas and New Year, the 35 minutes' window will be from 11.55 pm to 12.30 am.
In 2020, the Calcutta High Court as well as the National Green Tribunal had banned any sort of fire crackers and the apex court had upheld the judgement considering the fact that air pollution which is caused due to such cracker bursting may further aggravate the Covid situation. The court's orders have been reflected in the order issued by WBPCB this year.
"The bursting of fire crackers release harmful chemicals which has severe impact on the respiratory health of vulnerable groups and such pollutants aggravate health conditions of Covid positive persons in home isolation," an official of WBPCB said.
Moreover, the air quality index (AQI) in the city deteriorates during November to February and last year with the ban on crackers, the AQI was better.
The District Magistrates/police commissioners/police superintendents was asked to ensure that the order is implemented and action taken report to be submitted to the panel.
The state PCB in Tuesday's order also claimed as per the latest assessment, the air quality of the districts and Kolkata was at moderate/satisfactory level till the third week of October.
Welcoming the order of WBPCB, Babla Roy, Chairman of Sara Bangla Atasbazi Unnayan Samity said that making of green firecrackers started from 2019. This year green crackers will be introduced in the market. 40 per cent of these will be from local market while 60 per cent will be brought in from Tamilnadu which has its expertise in green crackers," he added.
The Bazi Bazar in Kolkata this year is scheduled to be held at Sinthi Circus Maidan in North Kolkata from November 1.