Even as hundreds of Bhopalites celebrated festival of lights bursting firecrackers beyond the two-hour time limit prescribed by the Supreme Court, police booked only 18 people for violating the norm in a city having population of over 25 lakh. Amid concerns about the alarmingly high pollution levels, the apex court had allowed people to burst firecrackers between 8-10 pm on Diwali. Overlooking the 2-hour window set by court, the residents here went on bursting crackers past midnight and in certain parts of the city it continued till wee hours of Thursday.
Superintendent of police (SP) North, Hemant Chouhan said that whenever cops received any information about bursting of firecrackers beyond 2-hr time slot fixed by SC, teams were rushed to the spot to take action. At preliminary stage we have done what we could and we have booked several persons for the offence, said Chouhan. He stressed on need of awareness in the society towards pollution.
Ravindra Singh, a social worker, appreciated the cops saying that they did a fine job or else not even one FIR would have been filed. The residents too have to be aware about the rules and order and as only cops can’t prevent everyone from bursting crackers as there are children who keep waiting for the festival throughout the year, he added.
Umashankar Naidu, a retired government officer said that local administration should have ensured publicizing SC’s order two days ahead of the Diwali so that people who were not aware of the instructions get to know that bursting crackers after 10 pm could land them into legal trouble, said Naidu.