Sangh affiliate SJM opposes cracker ban

The SJM has opposed the bans, saying they are based on “false propaganda in terms of ill effects of firecrackers.”
Police seize illegal firecrackers from a shop in Gorakhpur.(PTI)
Police seize illegal firecrackers from a shop in Gorakhpur.(PTI)
Updated on Nov 08, 2020 11:32 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: The Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has criticized the complete ban on firecrackers during Diwali in states like Delhi. It said it has been done even as green firecrackers certified by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute are known to cause 30% less pollution.

SJM said the complete ban will adversely affect the industry in places like Tamil Nadu and West Bengal as well as the livelihoods of nearly one million.

The SJM has opposed the bans saying they are based on “false propaganda in terms of ill effects of firecrackers.”

SJM’s national co-convenor, Ashwani Mahajan, in a statement, said: “…For some time, without any factual information, governments have been taking action like banning all types of firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali, which is completely inappropriate.”

Mahajan said it has to be understood that till now the pollution caused by firecrackers was primarily due to illegally imported firecrackers from China. “There has been pollution due to the mixing of potassium nitrate and sulfur in Chinese firecrackers.” He backed green firecrackers and said the “pollution-free firecrackers” are made in India and are free from potassium nitrate and sulfur and other pollutants such as aluminium, lithium, arsenic, and mercury have been reduced to the minimum.

SJM asked the governments to revisit the ban on all types of firecrackers. It regretted that government agencies have failed to solve the problem of stubble burning, which contributes to pollution in the national capital and surrounding areas.

“Swadeshi Jagran Manch also urges all state governments to make efforts to find a permanent solution to the problem of pollution of stubble burning. Swadeshi Jagran Manch wishes to underline that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its order in October 2018 has given permission to firecrackers for two hours on the occasion of Deepawali, keeping in view the tradition of burning firecrackers on the occasion of Deepawali and the livelihood of lakhs of people engaged in cracker production,” Mahajan said.

Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of Centre for Science and Environment however underlined the need for public awareness and support to back regulations banning the use of firecrackers. She said the health care sector is already overburdened by the coronavirus pandemic and the worsening air quality will further impact the delivery of care.

“This year we have a special challenge, apart from respiratory problems caused by air pollution, we have corona as well. Doctors have presented evidence that air pollution exacerbates corona. We need more public support and awareness about the impact of concentrated bursting of firecrackers on air pollution,” she said.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021