Mumbai: Residents welcome restrictions on use of firecrackers, many suggest effective implementation

Updated: 13 November, 2020 17:51 IST | Kanika Gupta | Mumbai

The BMC announced restrictions on the use of firecrackers and fireworks in Mumbai ahead of Diwali to keep the spread of coronavirus in check

People crowd along a road in a shopping area ahead of Diwali amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai. Pic/AFP
People crowd along a road in a shopping area ahead of Diwali amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai. Pic/AFP

As Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced restrictions on the use of firecrackers and fireworks in Mumbai ahead of Diwali, the move triggered mixed reactions from the city residents.

In a circular issued on Monday, the civic body said the move was being taken to keep the spread of coronavirus in check.

Also Read: Mumbai: Ban On Fireworks Came Way Too Late, Say Sellers

The civic body has, however, permitted use of ''mild firecrackers'' on Laxmi Pujan (November 14), saying residents can use ''anar'' (cracker known for a sparkling display and showers of coloured sparks upwards) and fulzadi (sparklers) at their private premises on that day.

"Use of soundless firecrackers like 'phooljhadi', 'anar' allowed between 8 pm till 10 pm on Diwali only," BMC said.

The Maharashtra government also appealed to the citizens to avoid bursting firecrackers as the pollution could cause breathing problems among COVID-19 patients.

Though the move has been welcomed by Mumbaikars, some feel that this will have an adverse impact on the businesses which are already reeling under losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is what residents said

I support the firecracker ban introduced by the government at the time of COVID-19. The virus affects the respiratory system and the pollution brought about by bursting crackers is going to adversely affect the health of people. So it is a move in the right direction - Sushmita Desai, a resident of Colaba.

The ban on firecrackers by the BMC is a welcome move considering that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. The excessive air pollution during Diwali would only add to the woes of the citizens. However, the government must ensure that the ban is strictly followed and people adhere to the norms laid down to avoid the spread of COVID-19, or else the exercise would be a complete waste. Learning a lesson from Delhi, which has been facing the third wave of COVID-19, Mumbai must not let its guard down - Sunny D'Souza, a resident of Worli.

I think pandemic or not, bursting firecrackers is not the wisest of decisions given that our country has been struggling with the adverse impacts of air pollution for a long time now. However, a ban on crackers is crucial this year because, time and again, doctors and health advisors have alerted us of the apocalyptic impact they can have on COVID-19 patients and might also cause the spread of infection. My family, friends and I have decided to spend a cracker-free Diwali - Megha Mishra, a resident of Bandra.

Diwali is a revered festival for us and we celebrate it with lights and crackers. More pollution is caused by vehicles on the road everyday than just one day of Diwali. Furthermore, the state government should put a ban on emissions from factories and the garbage burning on the road that impacts the AQI throughout the year. This ban on crackers is just a one-time thing and doesn’t solve the big issue of air pollution - Siddharth Bhardwaj, a resident of Malad.

The coronavirus-enforced lockdown has already impacted the livelihood of people with many facing losses in business and losing their jobs. Now, this firecracker ban will have an adverse impact on workers and labourers attached to the business as well as wholesale traders who have already bought the stock for selling. Announcing the ban days before Diwali is not a good move. The government should have thought about it well in advance - Ankit Dhuri, a resident of Dadar.

Also Read: Maharashtra Government Order On Testing As Second COVID-19 Wave Likely In January

On Thursday, the Maharashtra government had informed the Bombay High Court that it would implement the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) order banning firecrackers in districts where the air quality index was poor or worse.

On November 9, the Delhi bench of NGT had passed an order banning the use of firecrackers in cities and towns where the air quality index was "poor" or "worse".

The order had stated that in places where the ambient air quality fell under the "moderate" or below category, the sale of "green" crackers would be permitted and timings for bursting crackers be restricted to two hours. 

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First Published: 13 November, 2020 17:21 IST

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