With cooler temperatures and the accompanying air pollution around the corner, the Delhi government has begun cracking down on firecrackers ahead of Diwali.
From writing to the Customs Department and the police to prevent illegal firecrackers from entering the Capital to carrying out an anti-pollution drive, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee is trying to control the impact firecrackers have on air quality around Diwali.
Banned since 1992
On Thursday, Delhi Environment and Forest Minister Imran Hussain chaired a meeting to review the measures taken by various agencies to control pollution. Apart from officials of DPCC, representatives of the Delhi Police, traffic police, Petroleum and Exposure Safety Organisation, Directorate of Education as well as district magistrates reviewed the action plan for curbing air and noise pollution.
The Centre had in 1992 banned firecrackers that contained sulphur and sulphurate in mixture with chlorate, colloquially known as Chinese firecrackers since many of these high-polluting fireworks came from that country. However, the ban has not been enforced completely over the years.
This year, however, the Delhi government is aiming to fully implement the ban. On September 30, DPCC member-secretary S.M. Ali wrote to the Delhi Police Commissioner and the Commissioner (Import and General) of the Customs Department asking them to ensure that the sale and import of the banned firecrackers were stopped.
The government has also put restrictions on licences for sale of firecrackers and is implementing noise and air emission norms for manufacturers in Delhi.
Teams of DPCC engineers and sub-divisional magistrates will be set up to check whether imported firecrackers are being sold in markets. The Delhi Police’s Licensing Branch will also conduct inspections at warehouses to check for imported fireworks.