Shimla: Bursting of firecrackers on Diwali has been restricted to just two hours in Himachal Pradesh to prevent noise and air pollution in the hills and only ‘green crackers’ will be permitted, officials said on Sunday.
Although a large number of people in the state have voluntarily shunned the use of chemical fireworks, resulting in the sale of these crackers going down, dealers who procured huge stocks of conventional crackers are unhappy over the ban being imposed at the last hour.
According to an order issued by the Shimla deputy commissioner, the use of only ‘green crackers’ would be allowed during the festival and the Department of Environment, Science Technology and Climate Change has granted permission for the use of green firecrackers strictly between 8 pm and 10 pm.
Blaming the state government’s decision banning conventional firecrackers, a shopkeeper said, “The government should have issued the instructions banning the use of crackers at least a month in advance and completely stopped the manufacturing of the crackers.”
Severe cold and inclement weather have dampened the spirit of the ‘Festival of Light’ and online shopping has severely dented the business of local traders. Besides, a fall in tourist arrival during this season has also affected the sale of festival items.
(Published 12 November 2023, 08:24 IST)