The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board Wednesday announced it would strictly enforce the Supreme Court ban on bursting fire crackers on Diwali after 10 pm and would penalise offenders with a fine and imprisonment.
Member-secretary JS Yadav said while such advisories are issued every year, the state pollution control board is committed to "ensure compliance in letter and spirit" this time.
Police have been roped in and strict instructions have been issued to ensure that no fire crackers are burst between 10 pm to 6 am on the Diwali night. Also, using the crackers within 100 metres of schools, religious places, hospitals, court premises and other areas has been banned by the district administration, Yadav said.
The board said it was flooded with complaints of breach of its rules and many people suffered from partial hearing impairment, heart issues, rise in blood pressure and respiratory issues. "We will act against all errant persons under the provisions of the Environment Conservation Act of 1986 and 1999 and book all those breaching either the 125 decibel limit of cracker noise or the 10 p.m. deadline," an official said.
He also said that a penalty of Rs.1 lakh and imprisonment of five years could be slapped on those who do not abide by the rules. District authorities too appear to be on vigil and say that the guilty will not be spared.