REJECTING A plea by the Chandigarh Cracker Dealers Association, UT Adviser Manoj Parida on Thursday announced that the cracker ban in Chandigarh stays, and needs no modification or relaxation.
An order issued by Parida stated that the ban was enforced in due compliance with directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
“The November 11 representation submitted by the Chandigarh Cracker Dealers Association has been reconsidered. It has been clarified from records that while conducting draw of lots, for allotment of stalls, for sale of crackers, the district administration had clarified categorically that the allotment will be subject to a final decision by the UT Administration regarding imposition of any ban on crackers,” the orders said.
It further said, “The applicants were specifically asked not to go for advance purchase of crackers until November 6. A letter was also written to the president, Chandigarh Cracker Dealers Association on November 5, stating that the purchase of crackers should be kept on hold. On November 6, an order was passed by the undersigned under Disaster Management Act, 2005, imposing a complete ban on sale/use of crackers of any kind throughout the Union Territory of Chandigarh.”
The Chandigarh Adviser in his revised orders said that bursting crackers will further aggravate the situation. “In view of the Covid situation, it is noted that the number of cases is rising in UT, Chandigarh. The pollution caused by bursting of crackers is likely to aggravate the situation further, by adversely affecting the air quality. It was noted that despite restricting the hours for use of crackers last Diwali, the air quality remained ‘very poor’ in Chandigarh,” the orders specified.
The administration specified that Chandigarh is one of the ‘non-attainment cities’ included in the list notified by the Central Pollution Control Board.
“Medical experts are of the unanimous opinion that cracker bursting, leading to air pollution, will further aggravate the Covid situation in Chandigarh. The National Green Tribunal has clarified…‘If there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail’,” it was said.
The Chandigarh Cracker Sellers’ Association had in their plea asked why the drawing of lots was held when the ban was to be issued.
The ban order was issued just two days after drawing of lots of 96 cracker sellers was held, and sellers said they had already purchased stock worth Rs 1 crore.
Cracker sellers said the orders won’t be of any use as Panchkula and Mohali will be bursting crackers.
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