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Delhi: AAP govt announces blanket ban on firecrackers ahead of Diwali, but no action plan yet on the stubble burning issue

Stubble burning is one of the chief contributors to the deteriorating pollution in the Delhi NCR region. However, the AAP government seems to have not formulated any strategy to control the menace of stubble burning even though it has come to power in Punjab, one of the states with the highest incidences of stubble burning.

In what it called a move to combat rising pollution levels in the city, the Delhi government prohibited the manufacture, storage, sale, and use of all sorts of firecrackers on Wednesday.

The restriction will be in effect until January 1, 2023. This time, online sales and deliveries of firecrackers would also be banned in Delhi.

Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai, informed about the firecracker production, sale, and use ban through his tweets.

“There will also be a prohibition on the online sale/delivery of firecrackers in Delhi this time.” This restriction will be in effect until January 1, 2023. “An action plan will be developed in collaboration with Delhi Police, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), and the Revenue Department to strictly enforce the prohibition,” Rai tweeted.

Firecracker ban in Delhi for the fourth year in a row

The Delhi administration has banned firecrackers for the fourth time on the occasion of the Hindu festival Diwali. The government claims that because of the firecrackers, the pollution level in Delhi rises, causing health difficulties for the population.

Surprisingly, the Delhi government took almost no action to combat the chronic issue of stubble burning emanating from neighboring states, particularly in Punjab, which is clearly the primary source of pollution in the national capital. Aam Aadmi Party, which is now in power in Punjab has instead of chalking out a plan to help farmers of Punjab with the stubble issue, has outright banned sales of firecrackers which are not the primary source of pollution. 

Last year, despite the ban on sales and use of firecrackers, the pollution levels went up dramatically in the Delhi NCR region. Moreover, Delhi’s average AQI for November 2021 stood in the ‘severe’ category. The deterioration for the quality of weather in and around Delhi is largely attributable to the chronic stubble burning issue.

A study conducted by IIT Delhi revealed that biomass burning contributes the most to the air pollution of the national capital, and the pollutants from Diwali firecrackers don’t even remain in the air for a day. According to the research, biomass burning during winter includes stubble burning and burning of firewood etc for heat.

The title of the study ‘Chemical speciation and source apportionment of ambient PM2.5 in New Delhi before, during, and after the Diwali fireworks’ and published in Science Direct in Volume 13 Issue 6 (June 2022) of the Atmospheric Pollution Research journal of Elsevier BV stated that biomass burning was the principal contributors to pollution in Delhi than the firecrackers burst during Diwali.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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