The government has directed officials to take immediate action and close down cracker shops, in line with the court's order.

File photo of people bursting fireworks Image for representation: PTI
news Deepavali Friday, November 13, 2020 - 13:35

A day after the Telangana High Court directed the government to immediately ban the sale and use of firecrackers in the state during Diwali, the state government on Friday issued a Government Order (GO) to that effect. “Keeping in view the directions of the High Court, hereby impose ban on sale and use of firecrackers by the people and organisations, with immediate effect,” the GO reads.

The government directed the Director General of Police, Director General of Fire Services, District Collectors, Commissioners of Police and Superintendents of Police to take immediate action to close down cracker shops. The government advised people to refrain from bursting firecrackers through the GO.

On Thursday, the High Court heard a plea advocating for a ban on firecrackers in the state in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The petition was filed by advocate Indira Prakash Puligilla, who argued that the condition of people already infected by virus would deteriorate and may even result in death due to increase in the level of air pollution from the smoke. He said children and senior citizens will be more vulnerable.

“Presently, the nation and the state are struggling with COVID-19 pandemic. Much as the festivals may be important and may serve a social purpose, people's lives are most important. It is the bounden duty of the state to ensure that the lives of the people are protected….The court directs the state to immediately impose a ban on the sale and use of fireworks,” the Bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Chauhan and Justice Vijaya Sen, was quoted as saying.

As the court had asked what steps they would take to enforce the ban by November 19, the government in its GO, asked district heads to inform them of the actions they took to prevent the sale and use of firecrackers by November 16. Meanwhile, following the ban, the Telangana Fireworks Dealers Association has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court’s decision.

With IANS inputs

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