Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
The ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR has come too close to Diwali which makes it quite tough to implement it, more so, as production has already been done. A huge amount of money has already been invested in the purchase of crackers by Delhi shopkeepers, and a ban on sale here will deal a huge financial blow to them. Who is going to make up for their losses?
Coming so close to the biggest festival of Hindus, the ban is certainly not a good idea as crackers have been an integral part of Diwali celebrations since ages. For over a decade now, people have on their own reduced the use of firecrackers, thanks to the schools which are teaching the students on these issues. Children have become cautious and conscious about the harm the release of chemicals do to the city air. But passing such an order will make the public retaliate, with impunity. When it comes to religion and beliefs even the most sensible and rational souls can turn vengeful. So my fear is many people, who till last year were following no-crackers norm in Diwali, may go whole hog bursting crackers this time.
If the Supreme Court (SC) was so concerned about the environment, it should have banned the production of crackers, may be suo moto, much earlier. That way, traders and retailers, both wouldn’t have lost so much money. In fact, this is what the Government authorities should do. Ban the production of crackers spewing harmful gases into the atmosphere. Surely, it is not so difficult to do this.
Moreover, the ban is only till October 31. Would there be no threat to the air we breathe in after that? Would air quality become drastically pure with the dawn of November 1? Seems laughable.
It is difficult to understand the objectivity of the court order as crackers are burst also during other festivals like Guru Purab, Christmas, New Year eve, marriages, hi-end parties, and any time we win our sports matches. Should the SC not ban bursting crackers at these times too? Wouldn’t bursting crackers at these times cause air pollution?
And, what about the increasing number of vehicles, especially diesel vehicles, in the National Capital, that causes air pollution? Also, has the court taken note of the 8,000 tonnes of solid waste generated in Delhi alone in addition to the industrial and non-hazardous waste? Has the court instructed the authorities concerned to find out ways to treat solid, liquid, waste water, industrial and hospital wastes? My point is, if these issues have not been tackled, what huge impact ban on burning of crackers for a short time will result in?
Another thing is, why ban the sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR alone? Won’t the bursting of crackers in neighbouring cities pollute Delhi air? Moreover, Delhi’s border touches three neighbouring states viz Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. It is easy to procure crackers from any of the cities in one of these states and burst them in Delhi. If this happens, would it not negate the whole purpose of the SC Order?
There is no denying the fact that bursting of crackers contributes to air pollution but it is only a part of it. The major factors contributing to air pollution are vehicular and industrial emissions, burning of garbage, leaves and crop residue and indiscriminate use of generators. Till the time strict action is taken against all these, banning the sale of crackers in a small part of the whole nation will serve little purpose.