Kejri bans firecrackers during Diwali again: Even as little is done on stubble-burning

15th September 2021

15th September 2021

Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government banned the storage, sale and use of firecrackers during Diwali for the third time in succession. 

Taking to Twitter, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the decision has been taken in the wake of the pollution situation in the national capital.

“In view of the dangerous condition of Delhi’s pollution during Diwali for the last three years, like last year, a complete ban is being imposed on the storage, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers. So that people’s lives can be saved.”

He also asked traders, not to stock firecrackers. “Last year, the ban was imposed after traders had already stored firecrackers for sale which had resulted in losses for them. I appeal to the traders to not stock up on firecrackers in view of the complete ban," he added.

While Kejriwal is talking about the problem of pollution, the state government has taken no step to reduce stubble burning in the neighbouring states, especially in Punjab, which is the primary cause of the pollution. 

Last year, the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s pollution rose to 42 % maximum in the last four years, according to a central government air quality monitoring agency.

Despite the efforts by the central government, state governments like Punjab failed to control stubble burning and even refused to help farmers with the issue. 

Bharatiya Janata Party Delhi unit has also accused Kejriwal of spending a whopping amount in advertisements rather than taking precautions to reduce pollution levels. 

Delhi BJP President Adesh Gupta also targetted CM Kejriwal saying that the Delhi Government bought the decomposer for Rs 75,000 and spent Rs 24 lakh on its distribution. Further, he alleged that the government had spent Rs 7 crores on its promotion, but the decomposer reached only 310 farmers.

It must be noted that earlier this year, in July, the Supreme Court had dismissed the petition challenging the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) order on the usage of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region. The NGT’s order had imposed a complete ban on the sale and use of all firecrackers during the COVID-19 pandemic in NCR and other cities in India with poor Air Quality Index (AQI) index.

However, in a plea to reconsider the ban, when Advocate Sai Deepak, representing an individual seller, argued that an IIT-Kanpur report does not list firecrackers even in the list of top 15 contributors to air pollution, the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna dumped the report and lashed out, saying, “Do you need IIT to understand that firecrackers impact your health? Ask someone staying in Delhi what happens during Diwali.”

 2017 IIT-Kanpur report had revealed that the burning of firecrackers was one of the least contributors to air pollution in the national capital rather the air quality of the NCR had deteriorated despite no firecracker being burnt at the time of the study.


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