- Poisonous smoke from firecrackers harms people’s health: CM Gehlot
- CM Gehlot also restricted the movement of vehicles sans fitness certificate
- Rajasthan Assembly passes bill to make wearing mask mandatory in public
New Delhi: With an aim to check the air pollution that engulf the northern part of the country year around Diwali, the Rajasthan government banned the sale of firecrackers during the festive season in the state on Monday (November 2). According to the Government of Rajasthan, the step has also been taken in view of the ill-effect of smoke on public health and the link between rising air pollution and an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, as revealed by various studies conducted worldwide.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot shared via Twitter that he has issued directions to ban the sale of firecrackers and restrict their use for the upcoming Diwali festival. The CM has directed officials to impose a blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 spread. CM Gehlot said,
In order to protect the health of COVID-19 infected patients and general public due to poisonous smoke emanating from firecrackers, strict action has been taken to prohibit the sale of firecrackers in the state and restrict the movement of vehicles without fitness certificate.
He added that in times like the ongoing crisis, fireworks should be avoided.
State govt has taken the decision to ban the sale and bursting of firecrackers in order to protect health of #COVID19 infected patients & public from poisonous smoke emanating due to fireworks.
In this challenging corona pandemic time,protecting lives of ppl is paramount for govt
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 2, 2020
While talking to NDTV about the implementation of the Ban, Mohan Lal Lather, DGP (Director General of Police) of Rajasthan said,
So the ban is on the sale and on use of crackers too. As far as the sale is concerned, we have the directions to take strict actions against the sellers and we are making sure that no firecrackers make it to the market. We are also trying our best to check the illegal sale of firecrackers. For restricting the burning of crackers, we have already started making citizens aware of the ban have requested them to follow it for their own and loved ones’ health. However, if seller and consumers are seen flouting the ban, appropriate actions will be taken under Section 188 of Indian Penal Code which is about disobedience to order from a public servant who is in the authority to give such orders. Apart from this, breaking of this prohibition order will slap the violators with fines starting from Rs. 500 under the Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases Act 2020.
Acknowledging the step taken by the state government, Jasmeet Singh, a 37-year-old resident of Jaipur who is currently recovering from COVID-19 said,
I am very thankful that such a step has been taken. But I am not sure how much it will be followed. We have all seen that even last year when the Supreme Court ordered a blanket ban on firecrackers, it was hardly followed anywhere. I am hoping that at least this time when the world is going through such an unprecedented time, people become more sensitive towards each other and give up burning crackers, at least this year because it will seriously harm many us who are sick or are currently struggling to regain their health.
To further reduce emissions, the state government has directed that action would be taken against the movement of such vehicles that do not have fitness certificate.
Rajasthan Becomes The First State To Make Mask Wearing In Public Compulsory
In another effort to protect people’s health, the Rajasthan assembly passed a bill on Monday making the wearing of face masks mandatory at public places in view of COVID-19 in the state. A new clause in Section 4 of the Rajasthan Epidemic Diseases Act, 2020 was added, which prohibits the movement of people at public places without properly covering mouth and nose with a face mask or cover. Rajasthan has become the first state to pass such a bill.
#Rajasthan will be the first state in the country to enact a law to make wearing of masks mandatory for protection against corona, as the mask is the vaccine to protect against corona and only this will protect..
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) November 2, 2020
Previous to this, the state has already been running campaigns such as “no mask-no entry” to raise awareness among citizens about the importance of wearing masks in order to fight the battle against COVID-19. Wearing masks has been recognised as one of the primary safety measures against COVID-19 along with washing hands frequently and maintaining social distancing.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.