On Thursday (November 6, 2020), the Calcutta High Court prohibited the use and sale of Firecrackers on Kali Puja, Chhath and Kartik Puja to curb pollution in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Division Bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee stated at the hearing of two PILs that during Kali Puja the rules that were in place during Durga Puja to curb crowding will also be in effect. “The High Court upheld the petition about banning use and sale of firecrackers during Kali Puja. We wanted the court to extend its Durga Puja-related directives to upcoming Kali Puja, Jagaddhatri Puja, Chhath and Kartik Puja to prevent people from crowding in this pandemic,” said lawyer Savyasachi Chattopadhyay.
The Bench requested the police to do the same at the upcoming festivals, praising the West Bengal government and police for effectively implementing the court's directives during Durga Puja In the latest Directive, the Court stated that 10-15 individuals (up to 300 square metres) and a maximum of 45 in the larger ones will be allowed in small Kali Puja pandals. In order to prevent people from entering the restricted area around the pandal, the Puja organisers will have to put up barricades. Previously, during Kali Puja and Diwali, the state government had urged people not to burst firecrackers to control air pollution, which is unsafe for Covid-19 patients. For each licenced fireworks dealer, amounting to more than 53,000, an association of firecracker makers has already sought compensation of Rs 2 lakh. The 'Poschim Bango Atosbazi Unnayan Samity' has said that there is a stake in the livelihood of about four lakh people in the state.