Punjab allows use of green crackers for 2 hours on Diwali, Gurpurb - Hindustan Times
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Punjab allows use of green crackers for 2 hours on Diwali, Gurpurb

By, Patiala
Oct 13, 2022 03:25 AM IST

The order says that on Diwali (October 24) and Gurpurb (November 8), green crackers can be burst from 8 pm to 10 pm and in two shifts from 4 am to 5 pm and 9 pm to 10 pm respectively

The state government on Wednesday announced a two-hour window for using green firecrackers on Diwali and Gurpurb as well as Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations — albeit for a truncated period in the case of the latter two — across the state.

Citing better AQI, the Punjab government announced its decision allows the use of green crackers for 2 hours on Diwali and Gurpurb. (HT File)
Citing better AQI, the Punjab government announced its decision allows the use of green crackers for 2 hours on Diwali and Gurpurb. (HT File)

Last year, the poor air-quality index (AQI) levels saw the state put a blanket ban on firecrackers in Jalandhar and Mandi Gobindgarh. However, an improved AQI this time has allowed for the government some leeway.

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As per the notification issued by science and technology department secretary Rahul Tiwari, only green crackers will be allowed under the state orders, which are in compliance with the directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and other judicial orders passed by various courts.

The order says that on Diwali (October 24) and Gurpurb (November 8), green crackers can be burst from 8 pm to 10 pm and in two shifts from 4 am to 5 pm and 9 pm to 10 pm respectively. The window for Christmas and New year eve is smaller — between 11.55 pm till 12.30 am

Only the green crackers, those that do not use barium salt can be used. The sale shall be only through the licensed traders. The orders say that the government should promote community celebrations to reduce the firecrackers being used in a bid to further keep pollution in check.

The orders also prohibited e-commerce websites from accepting online orders for sale of crackers.

Speaking of the same, Punjab Pollution Control Board secretary Krunesh Garg said he has sent the directive to field staff and requested the district administration to check unauthorised sales of crackers, apart from ensuring that only green crackers be sold.

Garg said the public’s enthusiasm for a “greener” Diwali will help the PPCB keep a tab on pollution, adding that the board will monitor the AQI pollution level on festival days to compile a report of pollution caused by firecrackers.

State environment minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, meanwhile, said in the light of the Supreme Court’s directions, detailed instructions have been sent out to district administrations for ensuring the proper implementation of time limit for bursting firecrackers.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    A special correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

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