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AHEAD OF Diwali, village gurdwaras Monday started making announcements regarding the timings for bursting crackers following orders issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Authorities as well as villagers feel that such announcements from religious places have a better impact. Though villagers were surprised by this development as they had never heard such announcements in the past, some welcomed the move. According to the order, crackers can be burst only from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm on the day of Diwali. Over a dozen villages in Doaba confirmed that such announcements were made on Monday.
“During the morning and evening prayers, we heard such announcements from our village gurdwara today which seemed quite unusual, too,” said Mandip Singh of Saindon village in Hoshiarpur, adding that he had never heard such orders in which people are asked to burst crackers at a particular time during Diwali. Jatinder Singh of Chuharwali village also informed that he was surprised by this announcement about crackers from the gurdwara on Monday morning and shared the same with his college-going son, adding that the pathi (priest) also made people aware of the ill-effects of bursting huge quantities of crackers.
In Jalandhar, the announcements were made in Khambra, Usmanpur, Hussainpur, Shekhe, Mubarkarpur, Khanpur, Kishan Garh, Dakoha and many other villages on Monday morning and evening. “It is a good step that people will have a time limit otherwise on Diwali night, one cannot sleep peacefully as people go on bursting crackers throughout the night which is a big nuisance,” said Parkash Singh of Khuradpur village near Adampur, adding that sometimes, youngsters indulge in hooliganism in the name of bursting crackers.
“With the deteriorating air and increasing health issues in the recent past, it is a good step that one can burst crackers in a limited time only to check pollution. But, I doubt whether the government would be able to get it implemented fully as it is difficult to keep a check in every village with limited staff,” said farmer Jugraj Singh of Madara village in Jalandhar.
Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Varinder Sharma has already asked the DDPOs, BDPOs, and Patwaris (village-level revenue officer) besides several other officials to get these announcements made to make people aware of the High Court order.