Ban or not: 68% citizens of Delhi NCR will not burn firecrackers this Diwali

  • • 68% said they won’t burn regardless of the firecracker ban
  • • 91% want garbage burning to be banned
  • • 76% said commercial diesel vehicles should be banned from entering city limits
  • • 44% want construction banned in winter months

23rd October 2018, New Delhi

It is that time of the year again when the pollution levels in Delhi and NCR skyrocket. Many people including kids face breathing difficulties, allergies, cough & cold etc. and doctors advice patients to stay home as much as possible The Air Quality Index of Delhi recently shot up to 337, which falls in the ‘very poor’ category and is the worst this season.

It now looks like people are realizing the gravity of the situation and committing to reducing pollution caused by them. 68% citizens in a poll conducted in Delhi and NCR said that they will not be burning crackers to make sure that the level of pollution stays in control and the city does not become a gas chamber. The supreme court today passed a verdict allowing burning of light and green firecrackers between 8 pm and 10 pm across india.

Delhi government has 3 landfill sites and the Bhalswa site had a major fire a couple of days back. This combined with the already poor state of air quality in the city is leading to severity of the conditions. LocalCircles conducted a survey to ask people what are the quickest steps that the Delhi government can take to control the pollution levels in the city. The survey received more than 75,000 votes.

91% citizens in the first poll wanted the municipal leadership to ensure zero garbage/waste burning by staff and ragpickers during these months to ensure that the level of pollution does not go over the roof.

Many Chinese cities went through a similar phase, but the authorities took concrete steps which initially sounded harsh on citizens, but later proved very efficient in reducing the pollution levels and making the atmosphere healthier.

76% citizens in the following question said that the police should ensure a ban on heavy diesel commercial vehicles entering city limits to combat the rising pollution levels in Delhi NCR. Only 19% voted against the move while 5% were unsure about it.

In the next poll, 44% citizens voted for construction to be banned during the winter months. 46% said it should not be done while 10% said they can’t say.

The PM2.5 level, which can be a matter of serious health concern also touched a new high and stood at 158.

Authorities have said that the ban on entry of trucks and an order to stop construction activities will only be passed if the pollution levels reach "severe+" which is a new category. Citizens have urged the government not to wait for the situation to turn ugly and immediately take these measures.

The National Green Tribunal earlier this month imposed Rs. 50 crores fine on the Delhi government after it failed to obey its orders and shut down various polluting industries in the city. Experts have warned that the air quality might further deteriorate in the next few days and Delhi might become a ‘gas chamber’ after the Diwali pollution. The government has made tall claims about how they plan to reduce pollution in the city, but it is high time now that the talks are converted to actions and Delhiites are given their rights to breathe clean air.

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