Representative Image (ANI)
Firecrackers were burst by people in many parts of Delhi on Diwali night, flouting the ban imposed on it by the city government.
Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai last week had said bursting of firecrackers on Diwali in the national capital will attract a jail term up to six months and a fine of Rs 200.
Despite legal deterrent in place to discourage people from doing so, by dusk, residents in many neighborhoods, including some areas in south Delhi and northwest Delhi, had started bursting crackers. Even high-intensity firecrackers could be heard going off on ground, or mid-air.
Diwali is being celebrated across the country on Monday. Bursting of firecrackers on this auspicious day is an old tradition, but authorities in the city had said the decision to restrict it was taken after considering environmental concerns and health hazards associated with it.
Delhi's air quality turned "very poor" on Monday amid an increase in stubble burning, bursting of firecrackers and moderately unfavourable meteorological conditions which allowed accumulation of pollutants.
However, the 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 312 was still the second best for the Diwali day in seven years. Before this, the city recorded an AQI of 281 on Diwali in 2018.
Experts fear that if volume of firecrackers burst goes up again this year, the air quality is likely to dip further.
In case firecrackers are burst like last year, the air quality may plunge to "severe" levels on the night of Diwali itself and continue to remain in the "red" zone for another day, the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) had earlier predicted.
However, despite the ban in place, people burst firecrackers with impunity in various areas of the city, staring around 6 pm.
In south Delhi's East of Kailash area, and neighbouring places like Nehru Place, Moolchand, noise of firecrackers going off in mid-air could be heard in the evening, while some residents burst it in their neighborhood streets, as they do it every year.
In Burari too, many residents were enjoying bursting firecrackers despite wide dissemination of the information about the ban through media and other means.
"They are educated but still doing this, what will children learn from it," said a resident of a colony in Burari, on the condition of anonymity.
In Laxmi Nagar, Mayur Vihar and Shahdara areas in east Delhi, the situation was similar. However, the intensity was lower compared to the situation last year, some residents said.
Loud thuds of crackers were also reported in southwest Delhi's Munirka area.
Environment Minister Rai had earlier also said production, storage and sale of firecrackers in the city will be punishable with a fine of up to Rs 5,000 and three years in jail under Section 9B of the Explosives Act.
A total of 408 teams have been set up to implement the ban. The Delhi Police has set up 210 teams under assistant commissioners of police, while the revenue department has set up 165 teams and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has constituted 33 teams.
In neighbouring cities of Gurugram and Faridabad too, many people burst firecrackers.
The air quality in Ghaziabad (301), Noida (303), Greater Noida (270), Gurugram (325) and Faridabad (256) was reported poor to very poor' on Monday.
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
First Published: Oct 24 2022 | 10:53 PM IST