Fataka vendors, citizens in a fix over last minute move to ban firecrackers
Nagpur: Adding more confusion in the minds of dealers and citizens and making the situation dicey just two days before Diwali, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has sought ban on sale and purchase of firecrackers. The MPCB, citing the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order, on Tuesday issued letters to District Collector and Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to impose a complete ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the city.
Notably, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has listed 122 cities that normally have the air quality beyond norms. Four cities of Vidarbha including Nagpur, Akola, Amravati and Chandrapur have been included in the list of non-attainment cities. The NGT has rolled the ball in the court of State Government and MPCB on whether to ban firecrackers or not. Following the directions, MPCB imposed a complete ban on sale and purchase of firecrackers in Nagpur as well as in other three cities of Vidarbha.
According to reports, the MPCB said that it has held talks with the District Collector and also the civic body regarding imposition of ban over firecrackers in the city. Now, the District Administration must take a call in this regard. The NGT order said, “It is a well-known fact that bursting firecrackers releases copious amounts of harmful chemicals, which have severe impact on the respiratory health of vulnerable groups and such pollutants can further aggravate health conditions of COVID-19 positive persons besides persons staying in home isolation. Hence, complete ban is required on sale and bursting of firecrackers.
The NGT order also directs the Central and State Pollution Control Boards to regularly monitor compliance and compile air pollution data from November 9 to November 30 and put it on their websites and file a consolidated report.
On the other hand, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has appealed to citizens to opt for noise pollution free Diwali celebrations. Similarly to ensure compliance with the directives, Radhakrishnan B, Municipal Commissioner, has banned bursting of high decibel firecrackers, particularly Sutli Bomb and similar items during the festivities. These firecrackers tend to make high decibel noise, at times ear splitting one. Hence, the ban would be a big relief for senior citizens and those down with fever or other related issues. NMC’s directives were issued on Tuesday and are in tune with appeal from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray wherein he asked people to avoid crackers as the same may cause problems for COVID-19 patients due to increased pollution in the air.
However, this exercise on the part of authorities has put the dealers and citizens in a dilemma. On one hand, the NMC, Fire Brigade, and the police gave permissions to shopkeepers selling firecrackers in the city, on the other hand, the NGT and MPCB have banned firecrackers.