Though the Supreme Court, in a modified order has allowed southern states to burst crackers anytime in the day (for two hours) this Deepavali, Karnataka has chosen to implement the Court's earlier verdict in toto.
In a circular dated November 2, the state government directed all departments, primarily the police department, to ensure that firecrackers are burst only between 8 pm and 10 pm, from November 5 to 8.
Imposing time restrictions, the Apex court had recently said that crackers could be burst only for two hours, from 8 pm to 10 pm, on Deepavali.
The state government has also directed all civic bodies to explore the feasibility of community cracker bursting during the festival.
In addition to this, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has been asked to monitor implementation of the cracker guidelines for a full fortnight, seven days prior to the festival and seven days after.
The government has also imposed a ban on the sale and bursting of series or laris crackers.
It has also said that only authorised/licensed dealers can sell crackers. They have to strictly adhere to the stipulated guidelines.
The government has also directed the Information department to conduct educational programmes in schools and colleges about the risks associated with cracker bursting, in addition to carrying out public awareness drives.