Delhi: The ban on firecrackers with an aim to curtail air pollution around the festive season is again being used as a tool by Delhi Government to deal with Delhi's perennial air pollution. The Delhi Government announced on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, that all firecrackers have been banned in the national capital to control air pollution. According to Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai, the ban will be in effect until January 2023.
"Like last year, in order to save people from the dangers of pollution in Delhi, the production, storage, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers are being completely banned, so that people's lives can be saved," Rai tweeted.
"This time there will also be a ban on online sale/delivery of firecrackers in Delhi. This restriction will remain in force till January 1, 2023. An action plan will be drawn up with Delhi Police, DPCC and Revenue Department for strict enforcement of the ban," the Minister said.
The action is taken barely one month before the celebrations of Dussehra and Diwali, which are usually celebrated with firecrackers. Every year in October and November, the nation's capital also battles a haze issue brought on by pollution from firecrackers and stubble burning in the nearby states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
Due to the pollution, the Air Quality Index is measured at or over 500, which is considered very poor air quality. The Delhi government also outlawed the sale and use of firecrackers in residential areas and silent zones last September. Violations were subject to fines of 10,000 and 20,000 rupees, respectively.
The city government had also established the 'patakhe nahi diye jalao' drive to create awareness against burning firecrackers. The action was taken under relevant Indian Penal Code provisions and the Explosives Act against those found burning firecrackers.
To understand how Delhiites feel about this ban, we talked to a few people.
Neha Rana, 19, a student of DU, says, "I am in agony; I want to burst crackers but not too many. If I talk about my childhood memories, the excitement I had for bursting crackers right after the Diwali Pooja cannot be explained. But with every year, more bans and restrictions are being imposed. I believe there should be limitations but not entirely. Govt can develop some plan or eco-friendly crackers so that children and adults can enjoy without hurting the environment".
Summeta Chauhan, a Delhi based entrepreneur, says, "Imposing a ban altogether on cracker industry might take away the livelihood of many. Although it's an important initiative, many people still find ways to purchase and burn firecrackers. If we compare it from the past experience, there has been a decline in burning crackers and people are more aware of the air quality index. We would suggest the government should find a way to ensure the environment is not polluted, and the children should also be happy."
Manish Kashyap, a serviceman and a resident of Karol Bagh says, "My dog gets scared of the loud sound these crackers make, so we have to keep him inside a room until Diwali gets over. In my opinion, banning crackers is the best thing to do, they are worthless. I don't understand why somebody would buy things like that. They are expensive, destroy the environment, cause unnecessary noise pollution and may induce unwanted fires."