The three municipal corporations have welcomed the verdict of the Supreme Court banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till this month end, and said they plan to raise awareness about pollution through local representatives. Some civic leaders, however, expressed concern about the traders dealing with such products, saying they would be “badly hit” given the timing of the ban imposition. The three corporations also said they would take action against any illegal sale, as and when mandated by the higher authorities.
East Delhi Mayor Neema Bhagat was all praises for the apex court verdict, saying, “We should all go for eco-friendly Diwali.” “We should put environment first and think about the pollution that firecrackers cause, both of air and sound, and therefore, should be more judicious in our choice. We fully welcome the decision and our councillors would help in ensuring its full implementation a the local level,” she told PTI. The Supreme Court yesterday banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR, meaning they would not be sold in the region during Diwali this year, till November 1, dealing a big blow to the traders and businessmen dealing in them.
The apex court said its last month’s order, temporarily lifting the stay and permitting sale of firecrackers, would be made effective only from November 1, 12 days after the ‘festival of lights’. A senior official of the Delhi government said every person must work towards making a better environment and respect the law, while urging the local councillors in the city to reach out to people in ensuring compliance of the order. All three corporations — the North, South and East Delhi Municipal Corporations or the NDMC, SDMC and EDMC are ruled by the BJP.
Leader of House in SDMC Shikha Roy also welcomed the verdict, but argued that its timing is such that the ban’s impact will hit the traders hard. “My only concern is the impact it would have on the traders, especially those who have stocked firecrackers in huge quantity. Had the timing been a bit earlier, it would not have affected them so much, as it would badly hit them now,” she said. South and North Delhi is home to several markets, including those selling firecrackers. Areas like Sadar Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazar are traditional markets for such products.
A senior official of the NDMC said, “The decision is in favour of collective good. And, we would help in building awareness, through our councillors and other means. And, if anyone is found flouting the norm, we would also take action, as and when mandated by the higher authorities.” Diwali fireworks had lit up the skyline of Delhi on the night of October 30 last year, but darkness descended in the morning after as a dense blanket of smog turned the city into a chamber of noxious and cancer-causing pollutants.
The move has already been hailed by environment experts.