Govt. green-lights ‘green’ firecrackers this year

Humayun’s Tomb: Pollution level in the city on Wednesday was in the ‘poor’ category. It is likely to enter ‘very poor’ category on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday said that only ‘green’ firecrackers can be manufactured, sold and used in the national capital with the Delhi government scheduled to launch an anti-firecracker campaign on November 3, which will continue even after Deepavali.

Mr. Rai appealed to Delhiites to start a ‘no-cracker’ campaign, considering the seriousness of the situation due to COVID-19 pandemic and said that the two main reasons behind the spike in pollution are Deepavali and parali (stubble burning).

“Diwali is coming and we all know that the key reasons behind Delhi’s spike in air pollution is Diwali and parali. Crackers cause massive air pollution. Keeping in mind the air pollution situation of Delhi, we have decided that this year only manufacturing and use of green crackers will be allowed. This decision is as per the Supreme Court order of October 23, 2018,” Mr. Rai said.

“To make green crackers, pyrotechnic is used due to which the emission of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide does not occur. This is why using green crackers can control or curb the spike in pollution level. Due to these reasons the Supreme Court decided to ban all traditional cracker manufacturing in Delhi and allowed only green cracker,” Mr. Rai said.

Across India, the Minister said, there are around 93 companies, which make green crackers using pyrotechnic. A list of these companies will be uploaded on the Delhi government’s website on Thursday so traders can contact them.

The Supreme Court, according to Mr. Rai, had given the licencing department of Delhi Police the responsibility to enforce the ban on traditional firecrackers and the Delhi government would reach out to the State police on Thursday.

“The Delhi government will also launch an anti-cracker campaign from November 3. This campaign will continue after Diwali as well because many people burn crackers even after the festival,” he said.

11 special squads

“The Delhi Pollution Control Committee [DPCC] will form 11 different teams as special squads, which will have engineers, five environmental marshals with vehicles. The teams will keep a vigil on the manufacturers across the Capital,” he also said.

Mr. Rai also requested people to comply with norms and traders not to use any remaining stock of traditional firecrackers.

If the DPCC teams find any such firecrackers, strict action will be taken against violators under the Environmental Protection Act and Air Act, he cautioned. “I am hopeful that people will cooperate with us to combat air pollution,” he said.

Talking about the various initiatives taken by the Delhi government to combat air pollution, Mr. Rai said that the government is sprinkling bio-decomposer to stop stubble burning in the national capital and has also launched the ‘Red Light On, Gaadi Off’ campaign, anti-dust pollution campaign and has come up with the Electric Vehicle policy.

He added that the ‘Red light on, Gaadi off’ campaign now covers all the 70 Assembly constituencies in the Capital and that by November 2, it will cover all the 272 wards in the city.

The Minister said every person in Delhi should encourage five more persons to participate in the city government’s anti-vehicular pollution campaign.

He also said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday would be launching an app, ‘Green Delhi’, by which people can share complaints about any violation of environmental norms.

Air quality

Meanwhile, the pollution level in the city improved on Wednesday with at an average AQI of 297 which fell in the ‘poor’ category, according to data provided by the Central Pollution Control Board. Air quality of Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad continued to be in the ‘very poor’ category, with AQI of 301, 324, 313 and 317 respectively.

Forecast shows that the air quality of Delhi will enter ‘very poor’ category on Thursday and then the ‘poor’ category again on Saturday

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 8:30:32 AM |

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