The hearts of many were broken after the ban on crackers this Diwali. A ban, barely a week before Diwali, left a major impact on the traders who had a heavy stock of firecrackers. This ban had a drastic impact, especially on small and medium traders who purchased crackers on loan with a hope that they will repay the loan after the sale of them.
On the other hand, it was a necessary step in order to reduce the level of pollution in the city. And with this ban, it was noticed that in comparison with the previous years, this year’s diwali was slightly a peaceful one. But still, those who had last year’s stock of crackers did burn them. Some traders were also known to be selling the fire crackers from their homes, to close relatives in order to avoid raids from police.
A report in India Today mentions that the air quality did eventually dip, with some places recording a hike of air pollution by 24 times. Areas like India Gate witnessed a spike of PM level 2.5 by 15 times, whereas RK Puram and Ashok Vihar witnessed a hike by 13 and 14 times respectively. PM 2.5 or Particulate Matter 2.5 is a fine particle that can enter our lungs and can even cause cancer. The report also mentioned that PM10 had risen in Anand Vihar by 24 times at 6 am today. The normal range for PM10 is 100 microns, which had touched 2402 microns in this part of the city. RK Puram recorded a spike of 11 times, while India Gate saw a rise by 10 times.
There is an index named, Air Quality Index (AIQ). A ‘very poor’ air quality index essentially means that people may suffer from respiratory illnesses on a prolonged exposure to such air. If the air quality deteriorates further, even healthy people with no respiratory conditions are going to be affected. The AQI this year has been ‘very poor’, a notch down from last year’s ‘severe’, the data on how Delhi fared this Diwali will be released today evening by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC). AQI level from 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 satisfactory, 101-200 moderate, 201-300 poor, 301-400 very poor, and 401 and above is considered severe.
There are reasons why this ban was flawed. They are:
- Ban only on firecrackers is not enough. There are big polluters like smoke from burning of residue of crops, smoke from industries etc..
- After the shutting down of some power plants like Haiderpur power plant and others, diesel generators were used which also contribute in the rise in pollution levels.
- The ban was imposed just a week before Diwali which is again a factor that why many people didn’t oblige to this ban.
But to bring a change, small steps will lead to big changes. That’s why, in some areas people celebrated diwali with the utmost happiness and without crackers.
Environmental activists, however, stressed on citizens’ involvement to make this order a success and make the city less polluted. “Ban on sale of fireworks was highly required for Delhi but ban on burning them is more important. Today after the court ruling, people were buying fireworks in bulk at Chandni Chowk. We can’t depend on the police to stop the lawbreakers since they have not even seized the banned plastics from shops till now. So it’s up to us to make an educated decision and celebrate the festival of light without hurting others by the poisonous toxic chemicals from fireworks in the air and settling on food,” Verhaen Khanna, the founder of New Delhi Nature Society, said.
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