Firecrackers left at least 50 people injured during Diwali celebrations in Hyderabad and outskirts, officials said on Thursday. The injured were brought to the government-run Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital late on Wednesday night and in the early hours of Thursday.
According to doctors, at least eight of them have sustained critical injuries in their eyes. The others had minor injuries and they were sent home after treatment.
The injured include people belonging to all age groups. A doctor said they included those bursting the crackers as well as some passersby. A 65-year-old woman travelling in an auto-rickshaw sustained critical injury when a 'rocket' hit her.
In a notification earlier this week, the Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said that in accordance with the recent directions issued by the Supreme Court of India, “there shall be a complete ban on bursting sound emitting firecrackers on public roads and at public places is strictly prohibited during the celebration of Deepavali Festival.”
The police also stated that there would be a ban on noise-emitting firecrackers, adding that the noise level from crackers, drums and other instruments should not exceed the permissible limits as notified by the Pollution Control Board.
“These orders shall be in force from 6 am from November 6 to 6 am on November 9. The public is hereby informed that any person violating the above orders shall be liable for prosecution under the Hyderabad City Police Act,” the notification added.
Ahead of the festival, the Supreme Court had banned the sale of traditional crackers and allowed only "green crackers" in Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR), but there was no clarity as to how many people could procure these, or the ones not containing the polluting barium salts. The Supreme Court had also given a two-hour window – from 8 pm to 10 pm – for people to burst the green crackers.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, a fire caused by firecrackers gutted four houses. The incident occurred in Vizianagaram district. There was no loss of life.
With IANS inputs