The denizens of Delhi celebrated Diwali with traditional fervour and great enthusiasm, even as the well-illuminated national capital witnessed a decline in bursting of firecrackers Thursday night as compared to Diwali nights in earlier years.
The 9 October Supreme Court’s order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR (National Capital Region) till 31 October evidently ensured a decrease in their bursting on the Diwali night even though there was no ban on bursting of crackers.
The apex court’s order was aimed at curbing air pollution in Delhi which has now been put in “very poor” and “severe” categories.
A 27-year-old resident of Govindpuri, Siddharth, said lesser instances of fireworks were burst this Diwali, thanks to the apex court’s order.
“The change has been massive. We were not expecting this much of improvement in this regard. Many people have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. It was much needed because Delhi is already overpolluted,” he said.
A slew of areas and neighbourhoods across Delhi ~ including Kalakaji, Govindpuri, Saket, Hauz Khas among others ~ witnessed a marked decline in bursting of firecrackers.
A 37-year-old south Delhi resident, Priyash Arora, said, “We are happy with this situation and atmosphere. Due to ban on crackers, families instead opted to visit their friends or go out for dinner and movies.”
Priyash went on to say, “Last year I burnt crackers worth Rs 5,000 but this Diwali I did not get a single cracker home. After being really aware of the campaign to protect our air and environment and after understanding the objective behind the crackers sale ban, I too chose to spend time with my family this Diwali. No one in our society burst crackers as we collectively welcomed the top court’s order.”
Another section of people were, however, found celebrating Diwali by igniting fireworks and bursting crackers as usual.
“We have been doing this since we were kids. This is the tradition and that’s how we celebrate Diwali. There are other ways to curb air pollution for which the courts should think about. We burn crackers once in a year and we will,” said Lakshya Agarwal, 25.
The police personnel, tasked with the duty to implement the apex court’s order, were reported to be patrolling various areas and around societies to curb any sale and purchase of crackers.
Alok Kumar, ACP, Cahnakyapuri told The Statesman, “Throughout the night and day, the police personnel will patrol in their respective areas to check illegal trade of firecrackers. If we found anyone selling even a small packet of cracker, we will nab him.”
Another senior police officer said, “Fewer people are bursting crackers this time. Even in my neighbourhood everyone is just wishing each other and exchanging sweets. This is a positive sign as people are getting aware and have taken right decisions to stay away from firecrackers.”
Many people reportedly took to the social media to declare that the celebrations this Diwali was “peaceful” and “less noisy”, although there was no reduction in the illumination of the national capital lit up with lights and burning ‘diyas’ (lamps) everywhere.