Diwali fireworks only between 6.30-9.30pm in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh: HC
Four days after Supreme Court banned the sale of crackers in the national capital region, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday fixed the time slot of 6.30pm to 9.30pm for bursting crackers on Diwali in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. No one will be permitted to burst crackers before 6.30 pm or after 9.30 pm.
The high court also directed the authorities to issue only 20% of last year’s licences for setting up cracker shops this year. The deputy commissioners of all the districts in the two states and UT have been asked to take necessary steps so that orders are complied with. The detailed order is awaited.
The order was passed by the division bench of justices AK Mittal and Amit Rawal, taking a suo motu note of news-reports on air pollution. The court expressed its alarm at the pollution witnessed during Diwali in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. It sought reports from home secretaries of both the states and UT administration on Thursday.
Justice Rawal stated that the level of air quality deteriorates not only in Delhi but also in other cities of Punjab and Haryana, and it is high time the court takes cognizance of the health hazard.
The court observed that air quality in Punjab, particularly in Ludhiana, and Amritsar, has worsened. The noise level has also gone from bad to worse in Ludhiana. Similar is the case with Panchkula and Yamuna Nagar in Haryana. Justice Rawal said the air quality deteriorates to such an extent on Diwali that it is difficult to come out on streets after 10pm.