Firecrackers heard across Delhi on Diwali night despite ban

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New Delhi, Nov 14 (PTI) Bursting of firecrackers could be heard across Delhi and its neighbouring areas on Diwali night even though a ban was imposed on its sale and use in the national capital region in view of rising air pollution and COVID-19 pandemic.

Sparklers were seen lighting up the night sky while crackers went off on the ground in various areas.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had on Monday imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) till November 30 midnight.

The Delhi government too had earlier this month imposed a total ban on all kinds of fireworks till November 30.

However, on Diwali night firecrackers could be seen going off in various residential colonies of the national capital from around 8 pm.

A doctor in Kailash Hills area said, 'Everyone was posting images of clear blue skies during the COVID-19 lockdown. Now, we all can see how bad the pollution is. Bursting of cracker will make things worse.' 'The Delhi government has banned it, but you can see what is happening,' he said.

The Delhi Police, however, said that it has deployed personnel in many parts of the city and action will be taken against those violating the ban.

'We have deployed adequate police personnel to check illegal sale and bursting of fire crackers. Today also, personnel have been deployed and action will be taken against the offenders,' a senior police officer said.

In south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar area, a lot of crackers could be heard going off.

Chitra, a resident, said, 'Amid the pandemic and pollution, this Diwali is different. We usually avoid bursting firecrackers for this reason. For us, Diwali is about spending quality time with family at home and exchange sweets with neigbhours and light earthen lamps.' Jyothi, another resident of Lajpat Nagar, said it was first difficult to explain children about the ban.

'But we told them that if we don't burst crackers this Diwali, then God will save us from the virus and they will get to play with their friends just like before. You need to find ways to convince children.

'They don't understand otherwise. But hearing others burst firecrackers, they did ask us but again we convinced them again,' she said.

However, Shailesh Kumar, a resident of Patparganj, said no one in his residential society burst crackers this time.

In Laxminagar, Kavish Chaudhary, a resident, said last year, he burst crackers along with friends but this time he was avoiding it due to the coronavirus.

In Delhi's neighbouring Noida, Pawan Kumar said he could hear a lot of firecrackers.

'People burst crackers despite the fact that there was a ban. There should have been strict measures to enforce the ban at ground level,' he said.

Nitish Tyagi, a resident of Ghaziabad's Sihani area, to had a similar experience.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Police arrested 10 people and registered 12 cases for alleged sale of firecrackers in the national capital, officials said.

'Of the 12 cases, one was registered in northeast district, four in southeast, two in outer-north, one in outer, three in Dwarka and one in southwest,' Additional PRO (Delhi Police) Anil Mittal said. PTI NIT AMP KND GJS VIT BUN NSD NSD