New Delhi: At a time when a number of states have imposed ban on the sale and use of firecrackers, the Telangana High Court on Thursday directed the state government to immediately ban the sale and use of fireworks during Diwali festival in view of COVID-19 situation.Also Read - Free LPG Cylinders Twice A Year In Uttar Pradesh, But Not On Holi, Diwali

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice BVijaysenReddy also ordered the state government to immediately impose the ban and close the shops which are selling fireworks throughout the state. Also Read - Angry at Not Being Allowed to Burst Crackers, MP Man Sets Neighbour's Car on Fire

The court issued the order while hearing a PIL filed by advocate P Indra Prakash seeking a direction for banning sale and use of firecrackers use of firecrackers (fireworks) by the people during Diwali festival across Telangana as had been done in several other states due to prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - Renault Kiger, Triber, Kwid: Automaker Delivers 3,000 Units During Dhanteras, Diwali Period

While hearing the matter, the court observed that much as the festivals may be important and may serve social purpose, nonetheless, the lives of the people are most important.

The court also stated that it is the bounden duty of the state to ensure the lives of the people are protected and promoted in a meaningful way. The petitioner submitted that firecrackers were known to pollute the quality of the air.

Since the winter season was setting in, the pollution created by the fireworks tends to hang in air, thereby jeopardising the lives of many and, especially, of the patients who are suffering from coronavirus, he said.

Advocate General B S Prasad submitted that so far the state government has not taken any policy decision for banning the use of firecrackers during the Diwali festival.

(With inputs from PTI)