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Business News/ News / India/  Delhiites flout firecrackers ban on Diwali

People in Delhi flouted the ban imposed on firecrackers by the city government as a large number of high-decibel crackers thundered throughout Diwali night in the national capital on Monday, October 24, according to the news agency PTI.

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai last week had said bursting firecrackers in the national capital on Diwali will attract a jail term of up to six months and a fine of 200.

Despite the legal deterrent in place, people in many parts of the city, including in south and northwest Delhi, started bursting crackers by dusk. High-intensity firecrackers could be heard going off on the ground or mid-air.

And, as the night progressed the intensity of firecrackers increased breaching permissible decibel limits, prompting some to wonder 'if there was any ban at all'.

Bursting of firecrackers on Diwali is an age-old tradition, but authorities in Delhi 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 unfavorable meteorological conditions which allowed the accumulation of pollutants.

However, the 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) of 312 was still the second-best for Diwali in seven years. The city recorded an AQI of 281 on Diwali in 2018, PTI reported.

Earlier in the day, experts feared that if the volume of firecrackers burst goes up again this year, the air quality is likely to dip further.

In case firecrackers 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.

Delhi Environment Minister Rai had earlier said production, storage, and sale of firecrackers in the city will be punishable with a fine of up to 5,000 and three years in jail under Section 9B of the Explosives Act.

A total of 408 teams had been set up to implement the ban.

The Delhi Police set up 210 teams under assistant commissioners of police, while the revenue department set up 165 teams and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee 33 teams.

(With PTI inputs)

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Updated: 25 Oct 2022, 07:24 AM IST
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