A committee under the environment secretary of the Delhi government that is revisiting the existing norms pertaining to firecrackers is mulling over restricting their use in weddings.
“We receive many complaints when there are too many weddings happening around the same time. Citizens troubled by high levels of both air and noise pollution often lodge complaints with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) during the wedding season. We will consider if we can limit the use of crackers during weddings in Delhi,” said a senior government official.
In November, soon after Diwali, a committee under the environment secretary had started reviewing various aspects of pollution caused by firecrackers. Officials said the committee may submit its recommendations to the government in two months.
The environment department was also considering bringing down the permissible decibel levels (145 decibels) of firecrackers and putting a stop to the use of certain metals — such as copper, barium and strontium — in their manufacture to bring down air pollution levels.
The senior official added that while the regulation of manufacture and sale of firecrackers was one aspect of controlling air pollution, it is important that noise pollution caused by these crackers is curtailed.
“We expect people to follow rules and respect the 10 pm deadline for bursting firecrackers. We may also have to see if the sale of firecrackers after 10 pm needs to be stopped for greater compliance,” he said. He added that it should at least be ensured that firecrackers, especially Chinese ones, are sold only in ‘pucca shops’.
Government officials feel that as much as the use of crackers needs to be controlled by the government, limiting its use on occasions like weddings and festivals is a ‘social issue’.
The committee working on revision of firecracker norms will rope in sub-divisional magistrates, police, customs and excise officers before finalising its recommendations. Earlier, environment secretary Ashwani Kumar had told The Indian Express that the changes will be made at the manufacturing end and not
Kumar said instead of curbing purchase of firecrackers, their manufacture and supply will be regulated to control pollution effectively. Trying to control demand of firecrackers will require the government to interact with thousands of people and will be an “implementation nightmare”, he had said.