An Indian vendor sells earthen lamps ahead of Diwali in Prayagraj on Friday. Rajesh Kumar Singh/ AP
For millions of Indians, Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time to spread cheer, friendship and togetherness. It is also a time when children in particular are extremely eager to welcome the celebrations, mainly due to the firecrackers. Till 2018, loud firecrackers were the norm, amid shrieks of delight from the young and old alike. However, last year, the government banned traditional firecrackers, citing environmental reasons, putting a dampener of sorts on the high spirits of the celebrants. Now, it plans low-emission firecrackers and light shows, but its uneven rollout has hurt some businesses and proven difficult to enforce.
The measures for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, on Sunday follow a 2018 Supreme Court ruling banning traditional firecrackers.
India’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research says “green” firecrackers produce 30% fewer emissions and don’t contain arsenic.
The New Delhi government will stage a four-day laser show starting Saturday to encourage residents to skip firecrackers altogether.
Urban policy researcher Rumi Aijaz says that one day’s efforts can impact air quality because they come at a critical period in the pollution season when farmers in northern India burn crop stubble to clear fields.
The Indian festival Diwali, which is also called the festival of lights, is celebrated in full swing all around the country, even amid the on-going coronavirus restrictions.
More than a billion Indians celebrated Diwali on Saturday amid twin concerns of a resurgence in coronavirus infections and rising air pollution that is enveloping the country’s north in a cloud of thick toxic smog.
“May the light from the festivities around the world shine a blessing of love and hope on us all.”
The COVID-19 Drive-Through Services Centres in Abu Dhabi which will remain open are Rabdan, Manhal; Al Ain: Al Sarouj, Asharej. In addition, the COVID-19 Prime Assessment Centres in Mushrif Wedding Hall in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Convention Centre will remain open.
"I salute you, mothers of martyrs, whose sacrifices show your great attributes and sincere patriotism. You are an honourable example for us and all other mothers to follow. Your sons lost their lives in the battlefields while defending their nation..."
Even as China opened to the outside, Jiang’s government stamped out dissent at home. It jailed human rights, labor and pro-democracy activists and banned the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which it viewed as a threat to the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.
The Darb toll gate system will be free of charge during the holiday starting from Thursday, December 1, 2022 and will be reactivated on Monday, December 5, 2022 during the regular peak hours (from 07:00 am to 09:00 am and from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm).