Pradeep Singh

Rourkela: There will be no community celebrations of Kali Puja, Diwali, Chhat Puja and other religious festivals till November 30 in Rourkela in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, informed Sundergarh district administration.

The district administration has also put a ban on bursting of firecrackers.

The decision was taken in a meeting headed by Rourkela SP in presence of Rourkela ADM, Tehsildar and other senior officials.

Earlier, the Odisha government had prohibited the sale and bursting of firecrackers between November 10 and 30 in the State considering the potentially harmful effects of the fumes emanating from firecrackers on people with respiratory problems and co-morbidities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The State is passing through a critical stage of COVID-19 pandemic; And whereas, the winter season is approaching during which the elderly, children, persons with co-morbidities and others develop respiratory problems,” an official notification had read.

Following the prohibition orders, firecrackers were seized in huge quantity from across the State. In Cuttack, police recently seized around 62 bundles of handmade firecrackers containing 30 crackers each, 186 ‘ghadi’ and 15 ‘sutuli’ bombs were seized during the raid.

On November 7, a police team seized firecrackers worth around Rs 70 lakh following a raid on an illegal manufacturing unit at Aska in Ganjam district.

These apart, a team headed by Talcher Sub-Collector Rajnikant Swain, Tehsiladar Gauri Nayak, Municipality Executive Officer (EO) Atasi Parida and Sadar Police Station IIC Satyabrata Rout conducted raids in a house at Hatatota Sahi and a shop in Badabazaar area on November 4 and recovered around two trucks load of firecrackers.