Punjab CM appeals people to celebrate Diwali in environment-friendly, COVID-safe manner

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Chandigarh, Nov 13 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday appealed to the people to celebrate the festivals of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Diwas in an environment-friendly and COVID-safe manner.

Singh, while extending warm greetings to the people, urged them to follow all COVID-19 norms and celebrate the festivals with their families in the comfort and safety of their homes amid these unprecedented times, an official statement said here.

He exhorted them to mark these celebrations by illuminating their homes and maintaining social distancing.

Bandi Chhor Divas (prisoner release day) is celebrated to mark the historical release of the sixth Sikh guru, Guru Hargobind, from the Mughal prison along with 52 kings in 1620.

The CM also urged the people to refrain from bursting firecrackers even though the state government has allowed a two-hour window in this regard, to check the spread of pollution which could further aggravate the coronavirus situation.

Singh had on Tuesday announced a two-hour window for use of green firecrackers on Diwali and Gurpurab, with a curb for Christmas too across the state, except in Mandi Gobindgarh, where a total ban has been imposed from the midnight of November 9-10 till November 30-December 1 midnight on account of its poor Air Quality Index (AQI).

According to the state government’s directives, on Diwali (November 14), green crackers can be burst from 8 pm to 10 pm, and on Gurpurab (November 30), they will be allowed from 4 am to 5 am and from 9 pm to 10 pm. On Christmas Eve, people can burst crackers from 11.55 pm till 12.30 am.