Mumbai: After imposing a ban on firecrackers during Diwali, the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CECB) has disallowed bursting of crackers in six of its cities including the capital city of Raipur. The ban has comes in to effect from December 1 and will continue till January 31. Besides Raipur, other cities where the ban has been imposed are Bilaspur, Bhilai, Durg, Raigarh and Korba. A statement issued by the State Environment Conservation Board said, the decision has been taken to control pollution which increases during winters due to the direction of wind.
The decision to ban crackers was taken under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981 by the state government. According to this act, a State Government after consultation with the State Board can impose a new rule in a particular area or the entire state to control the air pollution. In case of Chhattisgarh, ban on firecrackers will be imposed every winter to curb the air pollution.
Every winter, with drop in temperature, the air pollution levels increase. In addition to that the wedding season is at the peak starting from December that goes on till February that witnessed bursting of crackers for three months which further deteriorates the air quality. Apart from Raipur, which is one of the most polluted cities in the country, other cities where the ban is implemented are also likely to have poor quality of air. Through the ban, we hope to provide a clean and healthy environment to the people, says an official from CECB.
While the ban is applicable for two months, an exception will be made during Christmas and New Year said the official. As per the Supreme Court guidelines on firecracker ban across the country during Diwali, firecrackers will be allowed on Christmas and New Year, between 11:45PM and 12:45AM.
Firecracker Ban Is Good Step But Not Enough: Greenpeace India
In an exclusive chat with NDTV, Greenpeace India Senior Campaigner, (Climate & Energy) Sunil Dahiya supported Chhattisgarh’s firecracker ban and said that the ban is a good step towards reducing air pollution levels.
All the cities where air quality monitoring is conducted in Chhattisgarh are polluted beyond the permissible limits indicating that other areas which are not monitored might also be polluted to the same extent or even more. Banning polluting activities and sources is a good way to reduce air pollution levels and therein ban on fire crackers is a good step.
However, Mr Dahiya noted that along with the ban, other pollution sources like waste burning, industrial and vehicle emissions also need to be kept in check.
If we are really serious about bringing air quality to breathable levels then targeting big point sources from industries as well as transportation sector along with waste and biomass burning are going to be key and just hiding the polluting industries behind public measures such as firecracker ban which is essential to do but might take some time, is not a wise and comprehensive plan, he says.
Further giving a recommendation to the government about the policies to curb pollution, Mr Dahiya says,
The Government has to come up with pollution and emission load reduction targets across sectors for polluted geographies in a time bound manner and fixed accountabilities. Finalisation of action plans to clean cities along with larger regional geographies under National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) is the only way to move towards breathable Chhattisgarh.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.