Despite running a sustained awareness campaign and plans for stricter enforcement to curb the use of firecrackers, the pollution levels could not be brought down.
The government wrote to about 2,000 private and government schools, the police commissioner and the divisional commissioner to help in checking the Diwali pollution.
Usha Ram, principal, Laxman Public School, said, “Money is not a problem these days and when children see others bursting crackers, they follow. Earlier, schools used to make them take oaths and pledges, but that is no longer there. All awareness drives to motivate children not to burst crackers are no longer there.”
Jyoti Bose, principal, Springdales School (Dhaula Kuan), said, “We still have our campaigns and pledges. The environment club too put up posters in school. But awareness drives by NGOs and other agencies used be much more aggressive during previous years.”
The government, however, differs. “The situation this year can be termed quite satisfactory considering the adverse atmospheric conditions prevailing in Delhi during the past few years,” said a government official said.
“Higher concentration of pollutants was observed at Anand Vihar, which is influenced by localised factors such as higher traffic volume. The monitoring station is located quite close to the ISBT, Metro and railway stations. Just across the road, there are several industrial belts in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.