DMP slaps restrictions on flying of sky lanterns

Dhaka Metropolitan Police yesterday imposed restrictions on flying of sky lanterns in the capital citing safety issues.

The restrictions came nearly a week after New Year celebrations that saw thousands of sky lanterns floating across the city’s sky in the early hours of January 1. Despite curbs on New Year revelry outdoors and on rooftops, many were seen flying sky lanterns and firing crackers on rooftops.

A top DMP official told The Daily Star the decision has been taken after receiving complaints from some city dwellers that burning sky lanterns fell on their rooftops during New Year celebrations.

A press release signed by DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said it has been observed that some people and organisations release sky lanterns on different occasions. The lanterns, with the kerosene lamps inside them still burning, are falling on populous areas in the city. This is posing safety hazards including that of fire.

The press release urged city dwellers not to launch sky lanterns and warned of legal action against those who would defy the restrictions.

However, the DMP official said releasing lanterns during religious programmes will not fall under these restrictions.

Members of the Buddhist community ignite and fly sky lanterns, made of coloured paper, during Probarona Purnima, one of the largest festivals of their community.