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Diwali Special

Green Diwali: Defying Firecracker Ban In Ahmedabad Can Land You In Jail

With an aim to enforce the Supreme Court guidelines to celebrate an eco-friendly Diwali, the Ahmedabad City Police will patrol the city round the clock on Diwali night and citizens who don’t comply by the 2-hour slot for bursting crackers will be punished

Mumbai: Remember to set an alarm this Diwali if you are residing in Ahmedabad and want to burst firecrackers. If you exceed the 2-hour time limit between 8pm and 10pm set by Supreme Court for bursting crackers then you could end up in prison. The stringent step is a part of Ahmedabad City Police’s plan to promote an eco-friendly Diwali among citizens and curb air pollution.

The issue of air pollution is not confined to the northern parts of India, even cities like Mumbai and Ahmedabad are a victim of toxic particles released due to bursting of crackers. The air quality index (AQI) in the city slipped to poor category post the Diwali celebrations last year. To avoid a similar turmoil, we want to effectively implement Supreme Court’s decision. It is challenging for us to restrict people to a mere two-hour period considering that people the celebrations go on till the wee hours of the morning. Thus, we have come up with stern action of imprisonment, said a police officer from the department.

Also Read: Eco-Friendly Firecrackers Exist In India, But Will Not Be Available This Diwali: Union Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

Citizens who are found bursting crackers outside the allotted time-slot will be booked under Indian Penal Code Section 188 that invites one-month jail and a fine Rs 200 or under section 135 of the Gujarat Police Act that mandates four months to one year of imprisonment.

The police personnel will patrol the city round the clock to prevent any kind of violations. The authorities will also encourage citizens to register complaints by dialing 100 if they find anyone violating the Supreme Court order. PCR vans will be kept on stand-by across the city to act on the complaints.

The police authorities will also conduct awareness activities in public places and educational institutes to spread the message of green and clean Diwali. The Ahmedabad City Police has collaborated with the Amdavad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to reach out to maximum number of people.

The city has a population of around 55 lakh and a few thousand police authorities cannot man the entire city. Children are best way to spread a message. Awareness drives asking students to pledge for a green Diwali are being carried out in schools and colleges. The students have to undertake an oath that they will cater to all the norms listed by the Supreme Court, explains a police personnel.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ahmedabad has some of the highest air pollution levels in India. The Ahmedabad 24-hour air quality index (AQI) average showed air pollution levels jumped in from ‘moderate – yellow’ to ‘red – very poor’ the night after Diwali in 2017.

Also Read: Plastic Free Diwali: Opt For Plastic-Free Packaging This Diwali And Get Featured On Actor Juhi Chawla’s Timeline

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 pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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