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Cachar to follow State's ban on fireworks in Diwali; Only green crackers allowed between 8 to 10 pm

On October 22, the Pollution Control Board of Assam issued a notification with directions under Section 31(A) of Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 & Rule 35 of Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Assam Rule, 1991 and in compliance of Directives of Hon’ble National Green Tribunal in O.A. No. 249/2020 dtd. 09.11.2020 and 01.12.2020.

“In compliance with the directions of the Hon’ble National Green Tribunal in Original Application No. 249/2020 dated 09.11.2020 [Para 48(v)], dtd. 01.12.2020 [Para 32 (i, il & iii)] and also considering the fact that the bursting of firecrackers releases a copious amount of harmful chemicals, which have severe impact on the respiratory health of vulnerable groups and such pollutants can further aggravate health conditions of COVID-19 positives persons besides person staying in home isolation,” stated the notification signed by member secretary, Dr. Shantanu Kumar Dutta.

It adds, “In exercise of the powers conferred under Section 31(A) of Air(Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 read with Rule 35 of Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Assam Rule, 1991 and keeping in view the need of public interest to curb high air pollution, Pollution Control Board, Assam hereby directs a complete ban has been imposed on bursting and sale of all kinds of firecracker except green crackers in the State of Assam till further order in this respect.”

In the State of Assam only green crackers can be sold and bursting is allowed only for two hours during Deepawali festivals from 8 pm to 10 pm; during Chatt Puja from 6 am to 8 am and during Christmas & New year eve from 11.55 pm to 12.30 am, adds the notificaton.

“Other than the above specified festivals, prior permission of the concerned Deputy Commissioners of the Districts will be required for use of only green crackers for limited period (not more than two hours) in the State of Assam,” states the body.

“The District Magistrates and Commissioners/ Superintendents of Police shall implement the aforesaid directions. Daily Action Taken Reports to be submitted to Pollution Control Board, Assam,” Dr Shantanu Kr. Dutta) Member Secretary’s directs.

If necessary, additional restrictions can be imposed by the Deputy Commissioner of the district. However, DC Cachar, Keerthi Jalli informed that the Cachar will follow the State Guidelines.

It is worth mentioning here that many similar directives and Standard Operating Procedures were issued by the Government of Assam during the Durga Puja. However, there were gross violations of the procedures and government directives which the Police and Civil administration decided to ignore.

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