The West Bengal government on Tuesday (November 3) urged the people of the state to avoid bursting firecrackers during the upcoming Kali Puja and Diwali festivals this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said, “With everybody’s cooperation, we want to hold the Kali Puja and Diwali festivals avoiding firecrackers. The administration appeals to people to avoid firecrackers.”

“No procession will be allowed during the immersion of the Kali idols,” he added after holding a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in this regard.

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Alapan Bandyopadhyay said that Kali puja pandals should be open, following COVID-19 safety protocols.

A case has also been filed in Calcutta High Court against allowing the bursting of firecrackers this year during Kali Puja. The case will be heard on November 5 by Justice Sanjib Banerjee.

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Meanwhile, the Joint Platform of doctors has already appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to ensure that firecrackers are not allowed during festivals. 

The doctor’s forum also said that the pollution will be extremely harmful amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.