Following the recent High Court directive to curb air pollution, Mumbai Police initiated strict measures against individuals bursting firecrackers beyond the stipulated time of 8 pm to 10 pm. A total of 784 FIRs were filed, leading to action against 806 offenders, with punitive measures applied to 734 individuals.
As per information from Mumbai Police, the Police Commissioner issued orders to enforce the High Court's time constraints on firecracker usage, resulting in comprehensive action across all police stations in Mumbai.
Offenders were charged under Section 188 of the IPC and Maharashtra Police Act 33 for violating the prescribed timeframe for bursting firecrackers. The police clarified that while individuals face action for bursting firecrackers between 6 am and 8 pm under Section 188 of the IPC, FIRs were registered against those violating the time limit from 10 pm to 6 am.
Under Maharashtra Police Act 33, punitive action was taken against 734 individuals, accompanied by a fine of five thousand rupees from each. Those violating the High Court order were served with an FIR and a notice under CrPC Act 41(A).
DCP Operations Vishal Thakur, in a press note, stated that between November 10 to 12, a total of 784 FIRs were registered, and action was taken against 806 individuals, with the enforcement set to continue.
The Bombay High Court, in response to concerns about air pollution, restricted the time for bursting firecrackers to 8 pm to 10 pm. Chief Justice DK Upadhyay expressed worry about the city's air pollution situation during the hearing.
The court's order specified that firecrackers should only be burst from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali night, and during festivals such as Chhath, Christmas, New Year, etc. Additionally, the court mandated that only firecrackers with a sound level less than 125 dB (A) should be sold in the state.
The city woke up to a smog-filled morning on Monday. Mumbai witnessed clear skies and improved air for past few days, Diwali fireworks added up to the pollution in the city yesterday, leading to a thick smog-filled morning today.
As per the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the AQI in Mumbai is currently in the 'poor' category, with a reading of 234.
For context, an AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 to 100 is ‘satisfactory’, 101 to 200 is ‘moderate’, 201 to 300 ‘poor’, 301 to 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 to 500 ‘severe’.
Bombay HC directions on firecrackers
On November 10, during the hearing on suo-moto case regarding air pollution, the Bombay HC had continued its stay on transportation of construction debris till November 19.
The division bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Girish Kulkarni had modified the timing of bursting crackers and allowed the same from 8 PM to 10 PM. Earlier the HC had permitted bursting of crackers from 7 PM to 10 PM. Besides, the court had directed the authorities concerned to enforce the direction of the Supreme Court with regard to banning firecrackers containing barium chemical.
“Let’s not become Delhi": Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya
While appreciating Mumbaikars for exercising restrain in bursting crackers, the bench had noted that the air quality has not worsened here as it has in the capital. “Let’s not become Delhi. Let’s remain Mumbaikars,” said the CJ.
The judges had emphasised that the air pollution was not restricted to this year and hence proactive steps need to be taken to mitigate pollution in coming years.