The Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi has announced strict action against those, who resort to the production, manufacturing, sale and bursting of firecrackers in Delhi on the forthcoming festival of Diwali.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, AAP environment minister Gopal Rai said those found bursting crackers in Delhi will attract imprisonment for upto six months and a fine of two hundred rupees. He said production, manufacturing and sale of firecrackers in the National capital will be deemed as a punishable offence with a fine of upto Rs 5,000 and a half-year jail as per Section 9B Explosive Act.
He also urged the Central Government and Union Environment Minister to monitor the National Capital Region(NCR) just like Delhi as the former impacts the latter in terms of pollution.
Delhi cabinet minister Gopal Rai disclosed that a total of 408 teams have been set up whereby 210 Units have been allocated to Delhi Police, Revenue Department will lead 165 teams and the rest 33 teams are allocated to Delhi Pollution Control Committee( DPCC).
Rai added that AAP will start a Public Awareness Campaign termed – ‘Diye Jalao, Patakhe Nahi’ ( light Diyas not firecrackers )On October 21st, The Delhi Government will further be lit 51,000 diyas at Central Park in Connaught Place to mark the festival of lights. He also disclosed that so far till October 16, the Delhi government has seized over 2,917 firecrackers and detected 188 cases of violations.
Delhi already has a poor Air Quality Index (241) and the situation further worsens during Diwali festivities. The poor air quality becomes fatal for kids, women and senior citizens. Thus, AAP Delhi came up with the decision to reimpose the ban like last year, said the Delhi Environment Minister.
Nevertheless, Gopal Rai was more critical of the Diwali celebration through sparklers and asserted that there is no reference to the usage of firecrackers during Diwali celebrations in our ancient Vedic texts.
AAP’s decision to ban firecrackers has not gone well. Interestingly, the Sanskrit word called- ‘Ulkadanam or firecrackers find mentioned in our Hindu texts. References to it could be found in scripture called ‘Kartik Mahatmya’. The Dharmic traditions in Diwali in various sects of Sanatana have their own significance- ‘Bandi Chor Diwas’ for Sikhs or Nirvana (Liberation) in Jainism with the records of usage of Sparklers.
In recent times, the comments of Mr Gopal Rai sparked controversy when he said- ‘BJP does Maa-Behen of others’.