HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Diwali turns into festival of pollution

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu , Hindustan Times  Amritsar, November 05, 2013
First Published: 11:41 IST(5/11/2013) | Last Updated: 11:42 IST(5/11/2013)

 Diwali holds special significance for city denizens.


Unfortunately, every year, the quantum of air and noise pollution caused due to the bursting of firecrackers increases on Diwali.

Firecrackers release pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide etc in the air, which causes ailments like asthma and bronchitis. Not only the elderly and patients in hospitals, but animals and birds are also affected due to air and noise pollution.

Though various schools and organisations organised demonstrations prior to Diwali to educate the masses on a pollution-free festival, their efforts have been futile.

The environment and pollution departments also got notices published in various newspapers about regulations to curb noise and air pollution, but to no avail.

As per directions of the Supreme Court, bursting of sound-emitting firecrackers has been banned between 10pm to 6am. However, shockingly, the direction was openly flouted as firecrackers were burst throughout the night.

This caused excessive noise and air pollution. On the receiving end of this menace were the elderly and patients in hospitals.

Post Diwali, the roads are littered with the remnants of fireworks. The deluge of garbage, including empty bottles used to light off rockets, on every nook and corner of the city is a worrying sign.
“It’s not a new thing. This happens every year,” said Naresh Johar, a city-based writer.

Renowned play writer Jatinder Brar, said, “The authorities concerned should ensure that all rules formulated by them are strictly followed.” Not only this, residents also contributed to increasing pollution in the city.

Gift wrappers, dried flowers were strewn across the roads. A similar scenario was seen in posh residential areas such as Rani Ka Bagh, Ranjeet Avenue, Basant Avenue, Kennedy Avenue etc.

Meanwhile, municipal commissioner DPS Kharbanda, said, “The Supreme Court directions have been flouted though the authorities concerned tried their best to avoid violations.”

On rules being flouted while bursting of firecrackers throughout the night, deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat told HT: “I will inquire if there are any complaints of noise pollution. We will take action against the culprits.”

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