Suryakant Jena

Ahead of the Orissa High Court's final hearing on the ban on sale and use of firecrackers this Diwali festivities, the Police on Sunday seized a huge cache of firecrackers from Nalabanta in Aska area of Ganjam district.

Acting on input on the manufacture of illegal firecrackers, a team of Aska Police raided a location at Nalabanta area and busted the cracker unit.

One person identified as Madhav Behera was arrested from the spot on charges of violating the government guidelines. Crackers worth around Rs 10 lakh were confiscated by the police.

Meanwhile, the Orissa High Court is likely to make the final ruling into a plea to allow the sale and use of green crackers in the State today.

It may be noted that after the Odisha government's blanket ban on the use and trade of firecrackers during the festival season, the cracker traders had moved the HC seeking relief on the use of green crackers.

Earlier on Friday, the State's apex court while hearing the petition, had asked the State Special Relief Commissioner to take an appropriate decision over the contentious issue keeping in mind the directives of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and also the guidelines issued by the government for the containment of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sources said the SRC has already discussed the matter with various stakeholders. The HC is likely to hear the matter at around 2 pm today.