The proportion of households bursting firecrackers in Delhi-NCR on Diwali could be the highest in five years as two out of five families are likely to indulge in the activity, according to a survey.
Ten percent of respondents said they have already bought firecrackers from shops in Delhi, while 20 percent said they have bought firecrackers from other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR), suggesting that the ban on the sale of such items is not efficient as it needs to be, according to the survey conducted by LocalCircles.
The survey received more than 10,000 responses from the residents of all districts of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Faridabad. 69 percent of the respondents were men, while 31 percent were women.
“Sixty-one percent of respondents said they will not burn any crackers, either because they believe they cause pollution or because they are complying with the ban. The survey results, compared to time, show that the percentage of families who burn crackers. this the year is likely to be the highest in the five-year period since 2018, it said.
“As against 32 per cent of such families in 2018, the proportion grew to 35 in 2019, but fell after the second wave of Covid in 2021 to 32, but again, as the festive mood has risen this year and there is no ban on crackers in the NCR cities Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram and Noida, 39 percent Delhi-NCR families plan to burn crackers,” the survey report added.
The Delhi government recently announced that manufacturing, storing or selling firecrackers in the city will be punishable with three years in jail and a fine of up to Rs 5,000 under Section 9B of the Explosives Act.
Bursting firecrackers in the city on Diwali can attract up to six months in jail and a fine of Rs 200, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday.
In September, the city government reimposed a complete ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1, including Diwali, a practice it has been following for the past two years.
From October to December, the capital is suffocated under a thick blanket of smog. The Christmas season, including Dussehra and Diwali, contributes to an increase in pollution levels due to the burning of effigies and firecrackers.
The season also coincides with stubble burning in the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana, further exacerbating the problem. Delhi’s landlocked geography and stable weather conditions with anticyclonic wind circulation keep the polluted air trapped in the city and push the air quality index (AQI) upwards.
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) on October 7 ordered the implementation of Phase 1 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) after Delhi’s 24-hour average AQI was recorded at 211 (poor) at 4 pm on Dussehra.