As the grand Hindu festival of Diwali is approaching, the usual censorship of the festival has begun like every year. The ‘concerned citizens’ of the country have already started with the campaigns calling for boycott of crackers on Diwali blaming all sorts of pollutions on the bursting of crackers on Diwali. The Aam Admi Party government in Delhi has also finally decided to do something about the worsening air quality in the national capital by making arrangements to ensure that of all things, Diwali crackers should not at all contribute to the air pollution. The Delhi government announced that it would be forming eleven anti-firecracker squads which would ensure that only green crackers are used by people in the state on Diwali.
The government said that the manufacturers or sellers who would be found stocking crackers other than green crackers would face action. A Supreme Court order in 2018 allows the use of gree firecrackers in Delhi during Diwali, the state govt has taken steps to implement the court order.
Delhi government has decided to allow only the use of ‘Green crackers’. Delhi govt will form 11 ‘anti-cracker squads’. Strict action will be taken if any manufacturer, seller, stocks any other crackers except green crackers: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai pic.twitter.com/nx6F1zYKUl— ANI (@ANI) October 28, 2020
The Delhi govt has also announced that an anti-firecracker campaign will be launched on November 3. Announcing the campaign, Environment Minister Gopal Rairequested people not to burn crackers during the festival of Diwali. “The government will launch an anti-cracker campaign from November 3. Under it, 11 special squads of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and city police will inspect firecracker manufacturing units to ensure that there is no old stock left,” he said.
“In fact, I appeal to the people of Delhi to launch a ‘no-crackers’ campaign. They should try and avoid burning firecrackers completely considering the seriousness of the situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rai further added.
Green Crackers launched after Supreme Court judgment
Last year, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan had launched eco-friendly green firecrackers, manufactured in India. This came after the Supreme Court put restrictions on the use of conventional firecrackers on Diwali in an order passed in 2018. In the order, the Apex Court had allowed the bursting of only low polluting green crackers falling within the permitted decibel and emission limits during a fixed time slot. The Court had also banned the online sale of firecrackers and put a stay on the e-commerce portals from selling firecrackers.
People arrested in Delhi for bursting crackers
Last year, a Delhi court had convicted a man for bursting firecrackers on the night of Diwali violating the prescribed time limit declared by the Supreme Court. Cracking down on people for possessing or bursting the banned firecrackers, Delhi police had arrested 261 people for allegedly possessing banned firecrackers. The police registered a total of 433 cases in different parts of Delhi.
In 2018, a man in Delhi’s Ghazipur area was arrested by the police after his children were found bursting firecrackers ahead of Diwali. His neighbours had objected to the bursting of crackers and complained to the police.