New Delhi reinstates a firecracker ban to curb Diwali pollution. Can this move clear the air and foster a healthier environment for the capital’s residents?
In an effort to combat the escalating issue of air pollution during the winter season, New Delhi has reinstated a ban on firecrackers as the Diwali festival approaches. The environment minister of the capital city, Gopal Rai, announced the decision in a press conference held on Monday.
Rai stated, "Manufacturing, storage, sale, online delivery and bursting of any type of firecrackers is completely prohibited in Delhi." He further informed that the police have been directed to cease the issuance of licenses for fireworks.
According to Reuters,
To address this, the Delhi government plans to convene with experts later this week to devise a comprehensive action plan. The objective is to mitigate pollution during the winter, a period when the city, known to be one of the most polluted globally, witnesses a surge in respiratory ailments. This often leads to school closures and declarations of public health emergencies.
In recent years, authorities have prohibited the use and sale of fireworks before the festival, imposing fines and threatening jail time for non-compliance. This stringent approach appears to be yielding results, as last year the city recorded its best air quality since 2015, partly due to initiatives promoting greener vehicles.Highlighting the potential health benefits of reducing pollution, it was noted that adhering to the World Health Organization’s guidelines on limiting levels of harmful airborne particles could potentially increase the life expectancy of New Delhi's residents by 11.9 years.
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