Odisha Police issues circular for pollution-free Diwali

Bhubaneshwar: Aiming to curb pollution during Diwali after the Supreme Court directives, the Odisha Police on Friday has issued a circular regarding bursting of firecrackers during festival seasons particularly during Diwali, which has serious environmental and health impact.

On October 23, the Supreme Court issued directions related to manufacture, sale and use of firecrackers particularly during the festive season. As per the directions of the top court, only crackers with reduced emissions (improved crackers) are allowed for manufactured, sale and use.

Deputy General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma has issued instructions to all district Superintendents of Police (SSP) and Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCP) to implement the apex court’s directives.

“People will be allowed to burst firecrackers on Diwali days or any other festival from 8 PM to 10 PM only and on Christmas and New Year eve, firecrackers will be allowed from 11.55 PM to 12.30 AM only. It shall be the duty of the IIC/OIC to ensure that fireworks take place only during the designated time and at designated places.

They shall also ensure that there is no sale of banned firecrackers. In case any violation is found, the IIC/OIC of the concerned Police Station of the area shall be held personally liable for such violation,” the DGP said in a press statement.

Sharma also asked the police department to ensure the sale of green crackers with reduced emissions (improved crackers) to be manufactured and sold.

“The stocks of licensed traders may be verified if they are selling the crackers as mandated by the Supreme Court. It is to be noted that the only the crackers with reduced emissions (Improved crackers) and green crackers are allowed for manufacture, sale and use as per the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The sale shall only be through licensed traders,” the statement added.

The DGP also asked police officials to ensure that e-commerce websites, including Flipkart, Amazon etc. to not deliver online sales of firecrackers.

He also instructed them to ensure that fireworks are not used in the silence zones that is near hospitals, nursing homes, primary and district health-care centres, educational institutions, courts, religious places or any other area that may be declared as a silence zone.

Sharma, in the statement, also instructed the police officials to hold extensive public awareness campaigns in school, colleges and localities by utilising print, electronic and social media and inform people about the harmful effects of firecrackers.