Uttarakhand: CM Rawat pleads against use of firecrackers

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Dehradun, Nov 11 (PTI) Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Wednesday urged people to avoid bursting crackers on Diwali to keep the air clean.

'People should burst as few firecrackers as they can. It is good not just for the environment but also for our health,' Rawat said when asked by reporters about an order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on celebrating a green Diwali.

According to an official order on Wednesday, residents of six towns in Uttarakhand will be allowed to burst only green crackers for two hours on Diwali, Gurpurab and Chhath festivals.

Chief Secretary Om Prakash said the order applies to residents of Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Haldwani, Rudrapur and Kashipur.

People living within the limits of these cities will be allowed to burst green crackers from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali and Gurpurab and from 6 am to 8 am on Chhath, the order said.

In a virtual meeting of chief ministers with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in which Rawat participated, The CM said the states have been alerted in view of the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi with the arrival of winter.

'The spread of COVID-19 in Uttarakhand also depends on the situation in Delhi as many people from the state live in the national capital and will be coming home during the festive season,' Rawat said at the meeting.

However, the state government is prepared in every way to deal with the situation and the anti-COVID-19 campaigns are being intensified.

On his recent announcement that Rs 25,000 crore will be spent on summer capital Gairsain over the next 10 years, Rawat said building a parallel infrastructure there like roads, schools, hospitals, helidrome, entertainment facilities etc. in accordance with its summer capital status is essential and a committee to oversee the process has been set up.

Gairsain was declared the summer capital in March this year shortly before the imposition of the coronavirus lockdown. The declaration partially fulfilled a long-standing demand of the hill people of the state. PTI ALM RHL RDK