On September 11, environment minister Gopal Rai announced a blanket ban on all fireworks this Diwali and throughout winter in a bid to control pollution levels. Rai said the decision was taken while preparing this year’s winter action plan, and the blanket ban was announced early to allow for better preparation to curb sale, storage, manufacture and online delivery of all kinds of fireworks, including green crackers, in the capital.
The minister said Delhi Police would be directed not to issue any licence to store, sell or manufacture fireworks and urged NCR states to follow suit. “It will primarily be the responsibility of Delhi Police to curb the sale and use of fireworks this Diwali. Delhi government also already has a number of teams on the ground for this, including a team from Delhi Pollution Control Committee,” revealed a government source. Earlier, it had been reported that selling, storing or bursting fireworks would attract action under the Indian Penal Code’s sections 188 and 286 along with section 5/9B of the Explosives Act.
Firecrackers cause pollution to spike and the emissions include some heavy metals. The major spurious pollutants in firecrackers include oxides of nitrogen, arsenic and carbon monoxide while their combustion leads to a sudden spike in PM2.5 pollutants.
Accordingly, police have formed teams to ensure that there is no sale or bursting of firecrackers in the city. They have held meetings with RWAs and market associations, seeking their support in ensuring that the prohibitory orders were complied with. “We are conducting flag marches also informing residents about the Supreme Court’s order regarding the crackers ban,” an officer said. The cops have also carrying out foot patrolling in the markets and asking shopkeepers not to sell crackers.
Suman Nalwa, Delhi Police PRO, said that the force was making all efforts to ensure that the Supreme Court’s ban on crackers was fully implemented. They have also asked people to report any instances of people bursting crackers.
“Local police are patrolling their areas to ensure that there is no sale or bursting of crackers. Several raids have resulted in the recovery of crackers. We also request citizens to say no to firecrackers and to report any information about them to our helpline at 112,” the PRO said on Saturday.