Chandigarh | Jagran News Desk: The Chandigarh administration on Friday banned the use and sale of firecrackers in the Union Territory (UT) till further notice. In an order issued on Friday evening, the administration said that the decision has been taken to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus "due to polluted atmosphere created by bursting of crackers".

The Union Territory administration further said that the order will come into force with immediate effect, adding that it will continue until further orders.

"Any violation of the orders will invite penalty action under Section 51 to 60 under Disaster Management Act, 2005 besides legal action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and other provisions as applicable," it said in a press statement.

The local administration had also held a meeting over the issue on Wednesday and appealed to residents to avoid a second surge of the virus at all cost. "Doctors have opined that toxic air arising out of crackers is likely to affect the lungs and, hence, residents should avoid or minimise bursting of firecrackers during the festival season," the Tribune quoted an official as saying.

Chandigarh is the not first place in India where firecrackers have been banned ahead of the festive season. Earlier in the day, Karnataka and Delhi also banned the use and sale of firecrackers in wake of the rising air pollution and coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from Delhi and Karnataka, Rajasthan and Odisha have also announced a ban on firecrackers ahead of the festive season this year.

Coronavirus in Chandigarh:

The deadly COVID-19 infection, which was first reported in China's Wuhan last year, has affected more than 14,500 and claimed over 220 lives so far. The health department of the Union Territory has informed that there are 671 active COVID-19 cases in Chandigarh, adding that nearly 14,000 people have recovered from the deadly pathogen.

It further stated that nearly 1.11 lakh people have been tested for the infection in Chandigarh, adding that 95,620 people have tested negative for coronavirus.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma