Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government on Monday issued fresh directions for the sale and use of fireworks during the upcoming festivals of Diwali, Chhath Puja and Kartik Purnima. Only green fireworks have been permitted for sale and use during these festivities.
According to an order by the Special Relief Commissioner, burning of crackers amidst COVID-19 pandemic situation will result in adverse effects on the health of the public and the vulnerable groups like the elderly, children, persons with co-morbidities and others who develop respiratory problems during the ensuing winter season.
Following are some stipulations issued by the Odisha SRC in respect of sale and use of firecrackers during the festival of Diwali, Chhath Puja & Kartik Purnima:-
- Sale and use of fireworks shall be limited to only “green fireworks” that conform to the definition and formulation as proposed by CSIR-NEERI (Council of Scientific and, Industrial Research — National Environmental Engineering Research Institute)
- Sale and use of other fireworks shall be completely banned. Sale and use of joined firecrackers (series crackers or /a7/s) shall also remain banned.
- Only those traders/ dealers who obtain and produce a certificate from the PESO (Petroleum & Explosive Safety Organisation), after due inspection of their existing stock, certifying that the green fireworks stocks in their possession conform to the definition and formulation proposed by CSIR-NEERI and are genuine shall be allowed to sell their products.
- Authenticated copy of the PESO certificate granted after due inspection of existing stocks lying in possession of the traders/ dealers shall be deposited with the District Administration/ Police Commissioner for getting permission to sell the green fireworks.
- Traders/ dealers who fail to obtain and produce the certificate from PESO shall not be allowed to sell their products, keeping the “precautionary principle” in mind. Mere labelling of fireworks boxes as “green fireworks” and providing QR codes shall not entitle any trader/ dealer to sell the same.
- Only those retailers who obtain a license from the concerned authorities under the provisions of the Indian Explosives Act, 1884 shall be allowed to sell green fireworks.
- Retailers shall be allowed to set up shops and sell green fireworks only in special zones designated by the respective District Administrations/ Police Commissionerate.
- Green Fireworks shall only be sold at designated sites as permitted by appropriate authority and all COVID-19 protocols shall be strictly followed. Sale of Fireworks on the internet shall be strictly banned.
- Wholesale Traders and Retailers shall have to produce original invoices on demand by the District Administration/ Police Commissionerate.
- The use of fireworks shall be limited to 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm on Diwali day, i.e., 04.11.2021 only. Use of fireworks beyond the said time frame shall be visited with strict penal action.
- Violation of any of the aforesaid conditions shall be dealt with strictly and penal action shall be taken in accordance with law.
- The District Administration/ Police Commissionerate is directed to ensure strict compliance with the above conditions.
- The District Administration/ Police Commissionerate shall ensure full & complete compliance of the orders above through proper verification of the documents as mentioned supra and proper enforcement so as to ensure no spurious/ unauthorised/ banned firecrackers are sold anywhere within their jurisdiction. Further, the local officers shall be personally liable for violations of the orders of Hon’ble Apex Cout, Hon’ble National Green Tribunal and Hon’ble High Cout of Odisha.
The people are advised to perform rituals at home avoiding mass gatherings and adhering to the COVID-19 safety protocols such as physical distancing, use of face mask/ covering and handwashing /hand sanitizer. Also, people are advised to use permitted green crackers with utmost safety/ caution and not to use in public places.
Any person found violating this order shall be punished under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other relevant laws.