Fewer crackers, less pollution this Diwali, says Delhiites

October 29th, 2008 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Every year, the festival of lights brings with it smoke-filled skies, thanks to the large-scale burning of crackers. But this year the pollution levels in the capital after Diwali celabrations have been much less as compared to the last few years. “There was definitely less pollution this year as compared to the past years,” said Anshul Takshini, a resident of Patparganj area in east Delhi.

“Whether it was due to the strictness with the fireworks sellers by Delhi Police or due to the anti-cracker campaign, the change is welcome,” he added.

Delhi Police this year issued very few licences to firecracker sellers due to stricter norms in place.

While people celebrated Diwali by decorating their homes and apartments with colourful rangolis, candles and beautiful diyas, many did miss the crackers and sparklers.

“I searched for crackers in my nearby markets but could not find a single firecracker seller. Though I finally managed to find one, he was selling them in black at very high prices,” said Rakshit Gupta, a resident of Rohini area.

Shopkeepers, on their part, said they had no choice but to sell firecrackers in the black as the police had put in place very strict rules to obtain licences.

One such shopkeeper in east Delhi, who had stocked crackers worth hundreds of thousand rupees, had to sell them in black after police denied him a licence.

“What can one do? If I had not sold it in black, I would have suffered huge losses. Due to high prices there was a dip in sales too,” he said.

“There was a drop of almost 50 percent in sales as compared to last year. People preferred not to buy crackers. Probably price rise also played a role,” he added.

But senior citizens were happy because fewer crackers meant less noise and less pollutions.

“My health suffers from the air pollution every year on Diwali and for a few days after. No matter what the reason was for less crackers, I am happy that hundreds of people like me will stay healthy,” said 74-year-old Mulk Raj.

Said Harikishan, another elderly man: “Not only us, everyone will benefit from less pollution.”

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