Chandigarh administration mulling ban on sale of crackers

Amid fear of second Covid wave, the Chandigarh administration is considering banning the sale of crackers in the city this Diwali.

Some states have already taken the decision to ban the sale of crackers. UT administrator VP Singh Badnore will take a final call on the issue on Wednesday.

“There is a concern that pollution caused by firecrackers may cause spike in coronavirus cases in the city. Health experts have said that there is a possibility of a second wave during the festival season due to this pollution,” said UT adviser Manoj Parida on Tuesday.

Even though a draw of lot for allotment of 96 licences for the sale of crackers was held in Chandigarh on Tuesday, the administration withheld the issuance of temporary licences.

The three-day sale of crackers is slated to start at 14 designated sites from November 12. Diwali is on November 14.

During the Covid-19 review meeting on Monday, Badnore had appealed to the residents to avoid bursting of crackers. “Doctors have opined that toxic air arising out of crackers is likely to affect the lungs and, hence, residents should avoid or minimise bursting of firecrackers during festival season,” he had said.

On Tuesday, the administration also issued a health advisory, stating: “People should stay indoors and desist from bursting firecrackers in order to prevent air pollution and to protect the elderly and people with comorbidities. Public cooperation in this will help in keeping the transmission of Covid-19 under control and decrease the risk of mortality due to the virus in the coming winter month.”

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