On Diwali, SC Time Limit on Bursting of Firecrackers Defied In Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra Among Other States; Air Quality Goes Worse
People burst firecrackers beyond SC limit on Diwali, air quality worsens (File Image)

New Delhi, November 8: As Delhiites celebrated Diwali 2018 amid low air quality, the police remained vigil and seized over 500 kg of firecrackers from different parts of the national capital. The sounds of firecrackers could be heard way beyond the 8 pm to 10 pm time limit that was set by the Supreme Court. At least 140 kg crackers were seized by the police in North West Delhi last night and 57 cases were registered. About 200 kg of crackers were seized from Dwarka and 42 cases were registered. In South East Delhi, 23 FIRs were registered, 17 people were arrested and 278 kg crackers were seized. In North Delhi, 72 kg crackers were seized and 14 people were arrested.

"72 FIRs were registered under Explosives Act and 75 people were arrested. 1705 kg of non-green, non-certified firecrackers were recovered. SC had allotted 8 pm-10 pm as the time to burst crackers, 562 FIRs were registered for violation of SC order, 323 people arrested," said the Delhi DCP.

Admitting “sporadic” breaches of the apex court order on bursting crackers beyond the time frame fixed by it, senior Delhi police officials said, “We are monitoring the situation.” “There have been sporadic cases of violations. In some areas, people have been found burning firecrackers beyond 8pm-10pm time frame. The exact number of violation is yet to be ascertained. But, we will take strict action against them,” said an official as quoted by PTI.

In other parts of North India including Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, too, people were seen bursting crackers beyond the time limit prescribed by the Supreme Court.

As people brazenly snubbed the Supreme Court order, Delhi woke up to an even worse air quality a day after Diwali on Thursday morning. Major pollutant PM2.5 and PM10 are at above 500 in several areas of Delhi, bringing air pollution level to 'Hazardous' category. According to the Air Quality Index (AQI) data, PM2.5 and PM10 are at 500 in Lodhi Road area. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers a PM 2.5 density below 25 micrograms to be safe.

The air quality reached to 'Hazardous' level in Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Sonia Vihar, Mandir Marg, RK Puram, DITE Okhla, Mundka, Narela, New Delhi and Dwarka besides other areas.

In Mumbai too, the police booked two persons for violating the Supreme Court order on bursting crackers on Diwali. The duo was allegedly exploding firecrackers after 10 pm. This is perhaps the first case registered in Maharashtra after the apex court permitted to burst firecrackers only between 8 pm to 10 pm.

The Supreme Court had allowed bursting firecrackers only between 8 PM and 10 PM on Diwali, while permitting manufacturing and sale of only “green crackers” with low emission of light, sound and smoke.

The court had asked police to ensure that there is no sale of banned firecrackers and in case of any violation, the station house officers of the police stations concerned would be held “personally liable”.