Mumbai doesn't care about SC order on firecrackers, first FIR in Mankhurd

Nov 08, 2018, 07:32 IST | Faizan Khan and Anurag Kamble

On October 30, the court had given state governments the flexibility to choose a time slot for bursting firecrackers, while adding that it should only be two hours, in accordance with its earlier order

Mumbai doesn't care about SC order on firecrackers, first FIR in Mankhurd
Children celebrate the festival of lights by bursting firecrackers at Pratiksha Nagar. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The first FIR over bursting firecrackers well past the deadline of 10 pm, as directed by the Supreme Court on October 23, has been registered at Trombay police station. Cops filed the case against unidentified people for allegedly bursting crackers around midnight on Wednesday in Mankhurd. As per the SC order, firecrackers during Diwali can be burst only between 8 pm and 10 pm, and during Christmas and New Year between 11.55 pm and 12.30 am. On October 30, the court had given state governments the flexibility to choose a time slot for bursting firecrackers, while adding that it should only be two hours, in accordance with its earlier order.

Cracking down
Activist Shakeel Ahmed, the complainant, said, "The guidelines from the apex court for Maharashtra are clear, and yet, people in my locality were bursting firecrackers till 12 am, causing a lot of inconvenience to others. So, I shot videos and submitted them to the local police." Senior inspector Prakash Salvi said, "We have registered an offence under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Bombay Police Act against unidentified accused who were bursting firecrackers around midnight. We will take action as per the law."

City of noise
This, however, was not the only instance of the SC order being flouted, as Mumbaikars in several areas burst firecrackers well past 10 pm. Mumbai Police's helpline as well as Twitter feed were flooded with complaints from citizens. Cops said it was "practically impossible" to ensure everyone stuck to the deadline, but added that rigorous
patrolling by personnel was being done.

A police source said, "We are receiving eight to 10 complaints every hour, especially early in the morning and late at night, with most of them coming from housing complexes. We forward these to the local police and ask the nearest patrolling van to reach the spot. But most times, by the time the personnel reach, there's no one at the spot."

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Twitter abuzz
Citizens tweeted to the Mumbai Police by the dozen, hoping for action. DN Nagar resident Soumitra Bhagwat tweeted to the cops at 11 pm on Tuesday: "Loud crackers going on outside Indian Oil Colony", while Khar resident Abhay Bhatia reported about firecrackers around 11.30 pm, saying his three-month-old baby couldn't sleep due to the noise. Dahisar's Amey Kadam, too, complained about this on Twitter late on Tuesday.

Residents of Powai, Goregaon, Kandivli, Oshiwara and Ghatkopar wrote about violation of the SC order happening from Tuesday night till the wee hours of Wednesday. A police officer said, "The areas that are usual suspects with respect to noise pollution during Diwali are seeing an increase in bursting of firecrackers. But we hope that registration of FIRs, which we can do this year, will act as a deterrent."

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