Firecrackers ban in Maharashtra: Minister first says yes, then no
Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam said the decision of banning firecrackers will have to be taken by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as it is a policy decisionmumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2017 09:54 IST
A day after the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi, Maharashtra environment minister and Shiv Sena leader Ramdas Kadam on Tuesday said a similar ban is not immediately on the cards for the state. He said instead of a blanket ban, the government’s emphasis would be on creating awareness among people.
Earlier in the day, the minister had said the government will check the possibility of banning firecrackers. But as his party colleague Sanjay Raut, also an MP, opposed any such move, Kadam retracted, saying there was no question of banning firecrackers.
“Bombay high court, too, has ordered to not allow the selling of firecrackers in residential areas,” Kadam told HT. “Our entire thrust would be on creating awareness among the people about the harmful effects of firecrackers. The awareness drive will be undertaken to convince children and their parents about the pollution created by firecrackers.”
He said the decision of banning firecrackers will have to be taken by Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as it is a policy decision.
“I have been misquoted by the media on the issue. I never said we are considering the ban,” Kadam said. “We don’t want to dilute the happiness of the festival of lights by banning firecrackers. There have already been too many restrictions on festivals such as dahi handi and Ganeshotsav.”
Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which have been vociferously opposed restrictions on Hindu festivities, have opposed a ban on firecrackers.
Raut said the ban will lead to unemployment. “Thousands of poor families earn their bread by setting up stalls of firecrackers. Shiv Sena shakhas have been instrumental in helping them in such endeavors. Ban on firecrackers cannot be the sole step to curb pollution,” he said.
Raj Thackeray said such blanket bans are like banning festivals. “Why should we even have festivals… ban them too and cancel holidays,” the MNS chief said.