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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Lucknow district administration all set to launch ‘green-cracker’ campaign, but citizens sceptical

lucknow Updated: Oct 23, 2019 22:07 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustantimes
         

With Diwali around the corner, the city is all set to witness anti-cracker awareness campaigns and anti-pollution drives. Just like previous years, this time too, the district administration has planned to cover various schools, colleges and government institutions of the state capital in its ‘green-cracker’ campaign, which is aimed at motivating people to opt for low-emission firecrackers.

According to the district administration, the campaign will take off from Thursday. “The overall exercise has three parts to it. We are done with the first one under which we directed sellers to stock low-decibel, low-emission crackers. The next step will be carrying out extensive campaigns across schools and colleges to educate youngsters about the ill-effects of bursting crackers,” said Kaushal Raj Sharma, district magistrate, Lucknow.

In the third part, he said, masses would be educated and drives would be undertaken at public places to spread awareness on the issue of going green and fighting pollution.

However, residents and environmentalists are raising questions over the effectiveness of what they call a “traditional exercise” -- some even terming the initiative as a “toothless tiger”.

“Over the years, I have seen no development except one -- that the focus of the government has changed. Earlier, they used to talk about not bursting noisy crackers, while now, they are laying stress on choosing green or low-emission crackers. The overall situation, however, remains the same, which is unfortunate,” said a retired government official, Prashant Shukla.

Venkatesh Dutta, environmentalist and associate professor at the Ambedkar University, Lucknow, said there was a dire need to have a stronger approach towards this “very serious” concern.

“In the larger interest, people should gradually move away completely from cracker bursting, as this not only pollutes the environment but also adversely impacts animals, the elderly and the sick,” he said.

Dutta said the district administration should also ensure effective implementation of anti-pollution drives in the state capital to make the air here “breathable”.