The cracker ban went up in smoke on Friday when firecrackers were burst in Ravana effigies on the occasion of Dussehra in the city.
On Tuesday, the Administration had imposed a complete ban on the sale and use of crackers in the city till further orders. The administration said that the decision had been taken keeping in mind the orders of the National Green Tribunal.
Although no crackers were used in sectors 17, 24 and 46, the firecrackers were used in the effigies with impunity in sectors 34, 28, Manimajra and Maloya.
In Sector 34 which was one of the biggest events where crackers were burst, the organisers gave two hoots to the administration warning. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate (South), Rupesh Kumar, had visited minutes before the celebration.
SDM Kumar told The Indian Express, “I had visited them and warned them. Penal action will be taken under the Disaster Management Act against the violators. The station house officer has been asked to submit a report in the matter and accordingly, action will be initiated.”
Chaos in Sector 34, social distancing flouted
Chaos was witnessed in Sector 34 Dussehra event as thousands of people turned up on the occasion. All the roads leading to the sector were choked. The traffic police was busy managing the traffic that came to a standstill.
There was no social distancing at all as people elbowed their way to go close to the place where the effigies were put up. Covid protocol was also thrown to the wind as many didn’t wear any masks and stood close by.
Similarly, in Sector 28I, Manimajra and Maloya, the crackers were burst.
Dussehra was to be celebrated at 10 to 15 places in Chandigarh, with major ones being at Sector 17 parade ground, Sector 34 ground and Sector 46 ground. The Sector 17 parade ground had a Ravana effigy of 70 feet while that of Kumbkaran and Meghnad was of 65 feet each. The organisers also burnt the effigy of Covid which was 10 to 12 feet tall.
The organisers said that they got a crowd of 1 lakh people because last year people couldn’t witness Dussehra.
Effigy without crackers in sector 46
The Sanatan Dharma Dussehra Committee, Sector 46, burnt an effigy of 25 feet this time and it was all without crackers.
The organisers said that following the instructions of the administration in this regard, the committee had decided to celebrate Dussehra in a very simple manner.
Also, this time, a Shobha Yatra was taken out by the committee and the tableau related to the life of Lord Ram was the centre of special attraction. During Covid, four priests of Sanatan Dharma Mandir, Sector 46, were engaged in service day and night to reach the corona victims and their families with food, medicines and other essential items. Pandit Shailendra was made the chief guest.