New Delhi: It is not possible to implement a complete ban on firecrackers till people give their full cooperation, Delhi Police officials said on Thursday, as air quality here dipped due to bursting of fire crackers in violation of a Supreme Court order.
They admitted there were violations of the court order, despite constant patrolling by around 10,000 police personnel on Diwali night, saying it is not possible to monitor every violation considering the population of Delhi. The Supreme Court had allowed people to burst firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm only on Diwali and other festivals. The top court also allowed manufacture and sale of just “green crackers” which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals. Police said a total of 579 cases were registered and 310 people were arrested for flouting the norms.
“Despite constant patrolling and creating awareness, there were violations. We are sure there were more violations than the number of cases lodged but it is not manually possible to monitor every place where norms are being flouted. “If people are more forthcoming in abiding by the rules for the sake of their own health the situation can be better dealt with,” a senior police official said requesting anonymity. The apex court had also said police should ensure that there was no sale of banned firecrackers and in case of any violation, the station house officer (SHO) of the police station of the area would be held personally liable and this would amount to committing contempt of the court.
Police personnel were deployed also to check sale of illegal firecrackers throughout the city on Diwali, the officials said. Delhi recorded its worst air quality of the year the morning after Diwali as the pollution level entered the “severe-plus emergency” category due to rampant bursting of toxic firecrackers despite the court order. “Our team was on constant patrolling and even senior officer were deployed at the spot. We had been planning and even ran awareness campaigns. Hence, we did not face much difficulty in enforcing the Supreme Court order.
“However, a complete enforcement of the ban is not possible until the entire community is willing to join hands,” the official said. He added despite being aware of the consequences, people still could not sense the gravity of the situation. “They still wanted to practice the age old tradition of burning crackers on Diwali. This was the first time such a restriction was imposed. We are hopeful that more people will abide by the order next time,” another top police official pointed out. People in several cities besides Delhi, burst firecrackers until at least midnight, two hours after the 10 pm deadline set by the Supreme Court. People should be more forthcoming in following the rules, the officials said. The population size of the city makes it difficult to regulate each violation, they said.