Delhi: Bursting or selling firecrackers could attract fine of up to Rs1 lakh
Bursting or selling crackers this season can earn you a fine of up to Rs1 lakh under, Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai said on Friday.
A day after Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a complete ban on the sale and use of firecrackers, including “green crackers”, in Delhi, Rai said that people caught selling or bursting firecrackers can be fined up to Rs1 lakh under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act (1981).
“Prosecutions will be made under the Air Act, which has a provision to slap fines going as high as Rs1 lakh,” Rai said on Friday.
Rai said he will convene a meeting with representatives from the environment department, Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the Delhi Police on Monday to chalk out a detailed action plan to enforce the ban.
According to Kejriwal’s announcement on Thursday, the cracker ban will be in force from November 7 to November 30.
“While the regular pollution sources in Delhi continue to remain consistent throughout the year, bursting crackers ahead of Diwali and the stubble burning in neighbouring states add to Delhi’s pollution levels. Looking at the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the city, saving people’s lives is more important than the economic aspect of losses borne by cracker traders,” Rai said.
Rai also announced the setting up of 15-member impact assessment panel to monitor spraying and record the effectiveness of the ‘Pusa bio-decomposer’ which promises to turn farm stubble into manure. This has been promoted as a solution for mass stubble burning in the agrarian states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, which adds to the foul air in Delhi every winter.
Rai said that the panel will consist of MLAs, district level officials and scientists from the Indian Agriculture and Research Institute.