2 min read.Updated: 28 Oct 2021, 06:33 AM ISTLivemint
Delhi govt launches another campaign for celebrating pollution-free Diwali
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Ahead of the Diwali festival, the Delhi government has begun its anti-firecracker campaign to promote a pollution-free festival. The national capital, which is among the world's top polluted cities, witnesses the worst level of smog post-Diwali every year, coupled with low temperatures and stubble burning. Therefore to prevent such a situation, the Delhi government has come up with ''Patake Nahi, Diya Jalao" campaign.
With the launch of the campaign, 15 teams with 157 members will be formed at the district level to create awareness among people and to monitor the sale and purchase of firecrackers. Besides, the Delhi government has also asked the locals to report the use and sale of firecrackers by calling on the number 112.
Violators will be prosecuted under the IPC Sections 286 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and under the Explosives Act, which entails a jail term of up to three years.
Delhi's Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday launched the campaign by lighting diyas (lamps) at his residence and appealed to people not to buy firecrackers at this festival. He said the Arvind Kejriwal government will encourage people to celebrate Diwali with diyas through the campaign just like those times when crackers did not exist at all.
“The pollution levels in Delhi are very high around Diwali due to stubble burning in neighbouring states. The use of crackers during the Diwali season becomes very fatal. Especially when it comes to the elderly and the children, it can be very dangerous," he said.
The minister said that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government has urged Delhi residents to celebrate Diwali using diyas and not crackers: ‘Diye Se Diwali Hoti Hai; Patakhe Se Pradushan Hota Hai’ (Diwali is celebrated by lighting Diyas, crackers only contribute to pollution).
"We have to celebrate Diwali with great joy and zeal, but at the same time, make sure that we are not polluting our beloved state of Delhi," he added.
The AAP leader reiterated that traditionally firecrackers were never part of the Diwali celebration and added, "Some people are saying that it is a matter of religion and culture. But, I want to reinforce that it is not. It is a matter of saving lives. When the tradition of celebrating Diwali started in our culture, there was no existence of crackers. We need to embrace our old traditions to protect lives".
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a ban on firecrackers on September 15, saying it was "essential to save lives". Later, on September 28, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee ordered a complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1, 2022.