The Delhi government is preparing for “alarmingly high levels of pollution” after the annual Diwali blitzkrieg. It has decided to come up with fresh awareness campaigns and stricter enforcement plans.
Air pollution levels on Diwali night go up four-five times due to bursting of crackers. Noise levels also go up by at least 20 decibels. This year, the ongoing smog is set to make matters worse. Smog will trap the pollutants and they will remain suspended in air.
Through a message, being aired on several FM stations, chief minister Sheila Dikshit has appealed to people to say no to crackers.
The government has also written to about 2,000 private and government schools, the police commissioner and the divisional commissioner for help check Diwali pollution. “The government is also organising street plays and running slides in cinema halls, besides newspaper advertisements,” said environment director Anil Kumar.
Anumita Roy Chowdhury of Centre for Science and Environment said, “Every night is a Diwali in Delhi these days. And this Diwali is going to be terrible.”
The Delhi government has told additional commissioners of police and sub-divisional magistrates of the Capital to ensure effective enforcement of measures to curb pollution during Diwali.
“The idea is to check bursting of crackers after 10pm as ordered by the Supreme Cour t. We need greater awareness among people. We also need support from RWAs. Efforts are on to curb the use of generator sets at banquet halls,” said Kumar.