The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to team up with the Mumbai Police to keep an eye on the ban imposed on firecrackers across Mumbai.
Officials from the BMC informed that it has designed centralised standard operating procedures (SOP) that would be implemented at the ward level in all the 24 municipal wards.
"A team of BMC officials along with the Mumbai Police will be inspecting wards to ensure people do not burst firecrackers. Legal action will be taken against those found guilty," said a senior civic official.
BMC marshals, who are presently being assigned the task of imposing a fine on those found without masks at public places, will be roped in to carry out the surveillance. In each ward, multiple teams comprising BMC marshals and Mumbai Police officers will be deployed.
The civic body is also worried about illegal makeshift shops that sell firecrackers secretly in markets ahead of the festival. Another important key agenda of these squads would be to crack down on these makeshift shops, the BMC official said. "Congested market areas like Dadar, Lalbaugh and Andheri see several makeshift shops that are set up every year. This time, special attention would be given towards them," said the official.
The civic official also stated that shop-owners need to have a license in order to sell firecrackers. Legal action would be taken if anyone is found selling crackers without it.
BMC, on Monday, exempted putting a ban on noiseless crackers like 'anars' and 'phooljhadis' and have allowed Mumbaikars residing in gated and housing societies to light these firecrackers for two hours during Laxmi Pooja.
However, many housing societies stated that they will be imposing a complete ban on firecrackers this year. "There are 32 flats in our building. Each household has senior citizens. Many of them have breathing problems and asthma. Hence, this year, we have decided to put a ban on firecrackers," stated Shruti Gupta, a resident of Cuffe Parade.
Residents of Malad's St Francis Colony stated that, in their locality, people have been notified to not burst firecrackers, not just for Diwali, but also for Christmas and New Year as well. "We burst firecrackers every year during Christmas and New Year's eve. But this year, we are told that bursting firecrackers would turn the air deadly, which is why we have toned down our celebrations," stated Joseph Pinto, local ALM member and general secretary of their community.