NEW DELHI: In order to curb the annual spike in winter pollution post-Diwali, the government will launch ‘Patake Nahi Diye Jalao’ campaign to ensure on-ground implementation of its cracker ban. The campaign will start from October 27, Environment minister Gopal Rai said on Monday.
He held a joint meeting with officials of the Delhi Police and the environment department to oversee the fight against pollution. “The aim of the initiative is to encourage people to celebrate Diwali with diyas. A total of 15 central teams will be formed across all 15 districts of Delhi Police, having 157 members to enforce the ban,” said Rai.
He added that violators will be booked by the police under relevant sections. “Brands publishing advertisements on Diwali must symbolise the festival with diya, not with crackers. We have to make people recognise that Diwali is associated with celebration, and not pollution,” said Rai.
The government on September 28 issued a notification to the police and the district magistrate prohibiting issuing of licenses for firecracker sales. “Last year, licensing was allowed for green crackers, as a result of which the traders and shopkeepers faced great losses. This time we made sure to issue the ban in advance to avoid a similar situation,” said Rai,
The minister also pointed out that despite the police issuing orders that no licenses will be granted this year, sale of crackers was reported. “Hence, we held a meeting with the police and environment ministry officers to ensure complete on ground implementation,” he added.
The district and police station teams will collectively target areas and markets where licensed crackers were earlier sold for patrolling. Moreover, they will work with RWAs and NGOs to spread information regarding the campaign.
“It is a humble request to all the citizens to ensure that no one bursts crackers in the state. This is a matter that concerns our life. Stubble burning incidents go on a steep rise around Diwali. When their pollution mixes with the pollution of firecrackers, it can prove fatal for our senior citizens and children,” he said.