Tamil Nadu: Several cases registered for bursting crackers outside fixed time slot

Tamil Nadu: Several cases registered for bursting crackers outside fixed time slot

Chennai: Diwali was celebrated with traditional fervour across Tamil Nadu Tuesday, even as several cases were registered against those who burst firecrackers as part of festivities in violation of the two-hour time frame imposed by the Supreme Court for bursting them. The police, however, did not give details.

A senior police official said a detailed report would be given Wednesday. Local police stations in Coimbatore and Tirupur districts witnessed tense moments after those violating the time slot were taken to the stations, police said.

According to the official, violators were taken to the police station and released after issuing a warning. A 12-year-old boy died while bursting firecrackers in Namakkal district, the police said. Son of a daily wage labourer, the boy sustained injuries in the chest when a cracker exploded. The boy died en route to hospital, police said. Two of his friends suffered minor injuries.

A First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against the boy’s father for letting him burst crackers around 12 pm beyond the time slot fixed by the state government in line with the apex court directive, they said. A Chennai-based environmental activist Shweta Narayan said though the day was quieter compared to last year, there were rampant violations of the apex court order.

“I have filed two complaints with the local police station. Anytime during the day you go out, you can hear firecrackers bursting. The police here were not able to regulate this,” she said.

The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has said it would study the air quality seven days before and after the festival in all corporation limits. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the air quality index (AQI) in Chennai ranged between ‘good’ and ‘moderate’ levels with the average index value settling at 64 in the past 24 hours at 4 pm Tuesday. The festival of lights was celebrated with traditional fervour and joy across the state.

People, especially children, wore new clothes exchanged greetings and sweets with neighbours and friends. In the city, children were seen bursting firecrackers, unmindful of the apex court restrictions.

The apex court had on October 23 permitted the sale and manufacture of low emission “green” firecrackers across the nation and fixed a two-hour time period from 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting them on Diwali and other festivals. The Tamil Nadu government later moved the court urging it to allow firecrackers to be burst on Diwali morning in accordance with religious practices in the state, besides the already permitted 8 pm to 10 pm period.

Following this, the court had modified its order for the state, allowing it to decide the time slot. Accordingly, the state government fixed the time for bursting crackers between 6 am to 7 am and 7 pm and 8 pm, confining the revelry to two hours in line with the apex court directive.


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