As air pollution has reached alarming levels, Union Environment Minister, Harsh Vardhan has asked scientists to build pollution free crackers, in order to curb air pollution during Diwali. He made his decision public on Sunday (15 October), while he was attending an event under ‘Clean Air Campaign’ in Delhi. He further added that children are worst effected due to these toxicants.
The move comes in the wake of recent ban imposed on firecrackers in Delhi and NCR region by Supreme Court.
IMPOSING, LIFTING AND RE IMPOSING BAN ON THE SALE OF FIRECRACKERS
On November11, 2016, Supreme Court had prohibited the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR region. It had said that licenses of all the firecracker sellers shall be suspended. However, no restriction was levied upon bursting of firecrackers in the region.
On September12, 2017, Supreme Court lifted the previous ban. However, a few modifications were made, such as, it asked Delhi Police to reduce the allotment of temporary licenses by half to those approved in 2016. Transporting fireworks from outside Delhi-NCR region was made illegal. Moreover, areas within 100 meter radius of hospitals, nursing homes, primary and district healthcare centers, educational institutions, courts and religious places were declared as silence zones.
One month after its decision, on October9, 2017 the Supreme Court again imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region till November.
Imposing, lifting and then re imposing of ban has left several firecracker sellers in confusion and chaos. This has given rise to black market of firecracker sales in the region.
THE TWITTER TROLLING
In a series of tweets, Dr Harsh Vardhan had showed his approval for the firecracker ban imposed by Supreme Court.
One of his tweets read, “Firecrackers don’t just cause air pollution- itself a cause of numerous lung ailments, but also a noise nuisance triggering high BP, anxiety.”
However, his tweet didn’t go down well with many and called the ban as an attack on ‘religious tradition’. He was massively trolled and received backlash for supporting the ban.
It seems that Dr. Harsh Vardhan, in order to balance, both environment and religious sentiments has taken the recent step to build pollution free crackers. It will be interesting see whether the move will be able to satisfy both the parties or will lead to compromises on both the ends.