NEW DELHI: To curb air pollution during the Diwali celebrations, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced a ban on the use of all kinds of firecrackers in the national capital around the festival.
The government has also banned storage and sale of firecrackers in the city with immediate effect.
Kejriwal said it was essential for the Delhi government to implement the ban in order to “save lives”.
The decision has been taken at this juncture considering that the pollution situation can prove to be fatal, he further said.
“In view of the dangerous condition of pollution in Delhi during the Diwali period in the last three years, a complete ban is being imposed on the storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers” Kejriwal tweeted.
The chief minister also appealed to traders to not stock firecrackers this year.
“Last year, a complete ban on firecrackers was imposed late after assessing the seriousness of the situation. This caused losses to the traders. It is an appeal to all the traders that this time in view of the complete ban, please do not stock,” he said.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai said the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had called for a complete ban on the use of firecrackers during the pandemic period wherever the air quality levels fall in the ‘poor’ category.
“The data of CPCB for the last three years shows Delhi is almost in the poor pollution index. Last year, besides Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha, Sikkim, West Bengal, Chandigarh and 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh had imposed a complete ban on firecrackers,” he said.
Last year, the Delhi government decided in favour of the complete ban a bit late in the year, November 6, which was just before Diwali.
“The Delhi Police had already issued temporary licences for sale of firecrackers and because of this, traders and dealers suffered losses. There were also incidents of bursting of firecrackers due to easy availability. To avoid any such situation, we decided that the DPCC will issue directions for complete ban on sale, use and storage of firecrackers with immediate effect,” said Rai.
Late ban bad for traders
Last year, the Delhi government decided in favour of the complete ban just before Diwali. By this time, traders who had stocked fire crackers suffered losses.
This year, the ban has been announced earlier to avoid such a situation.
The Delhi government said CPCB data for the last three years showed Delhi was almost in the poor pollution index.