The ban on sale and bursting of firecrackers in Assam was imposed by the state pollution control body without consulting the state government and is now being reviewed "keeping people's sentiments in mind", Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said today.
The Assam Pollution Control Board issued a notification yesterday, imposing a complete ban on sale and bursting of firecrackers during Diwali, Chhath and Christmas. While green crackers have been allowed, the board has set time limits on when they can be burst -- 8 pm to 10 pm during Diwali, 6 pm to 8 pm on Chhath and 11.55 pm to 12.30 am on Christmas and New Year's Eve.
Assam Pollution Control Board has, reportedly, suo motu, without any consultation with Govt, issued an order banning sale of firecrackers & other restrictions.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) October 25, 2021
We've taken note of this. The entire issue is being reviewed afresh, holistically, keeping people's sentiments in mind.
Mr Sarma took to Twitter today to raise the issue. "Assam Pollution Control Board has, reportedly, suo motu, without any consultation with Govt, issued an order banning sale of firecrackers & other restrictions," he tweeted.
"We've taken note of this. The entire issue is being reviewed afresh, holistically, keeping people's sentiments in mind," the Chief Minister added.
The notification by the state pollution control board cites rulings by National Green Tribunal and underlines that chemicals released during bursting of firecrackers have a severe impact on respiratory health. It adds that such pollution can aggravate symptoms of Covid-19 patients.
Pollution caused by bursting of firecrackers has come under the spotlight over the past few years, with several states banning sale and bursting of crackers during festival season.
Political parties, however, tread cautiously on the issue to avoid backlash as such curbs are seen as an attack on religious traditions.