In its fight against pollution in Delhi, the Kejriwal Government will launch the ‘Patake Nahi, Diye Jalao’ campaign to ensure on ground implementation of its cracker ban. Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai informed that the police and SDMs will take strict action against violators. Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai held a joint meeting with officials of Delhi Police and Environment Department to oversee the fight against pollution today. The Kejriwal government will encourage people to celebrate Diwali with Diyas through the campaign, just like those times when crackers did not exist at all. 15 central teams will be formed in all 15 districts of Delhi Police, which will have about 157 members who will take the initiative to the ground. Along with the police, teams have been formed under the leadership of 33 SDMs, who will take action under this campaign in different parts of Delhi. Shri Gopal Rai said that brands publishing ads around Diwali should symbolise the festival with Diyas and not crackers in their visuals; we have to make people recognise that Diwali is associated with celebration, not pollution. 

*Kejriwal Government takes monumental advances to prevent pollution on Diwali; bans issued on firecracker license: Gopal Rai

Addressing the Kejriwal government’s work to tackle air pollution, Environment Minister Gopal Rai explained, “To stop pollution in Delhi, the ‘Yuddh Pradushan ke Viruddh’ campaign is being run by the Delhi government. This consists of the Anti-Dust Campaign, ‘Red Light On Gaadi Off’ Campaign, and the use of bio decomposers to cut down stubble pollution at the source. Additionally, the use of crackers during the Diwali season increases the pollution levels. To eliminate this source, the government has already ordered a complete ban on sales and use of firecrackers. On 28th September 2021, we issued a notification to the police and the district magistrate prohibiting the issue of licenses for firecracker sales. Last year, licensing was allowed for green crackers, as a result of which the traders and shopkeepers faced great losses upon its last moment ban. Therefore, the government made sure to issue the ban in advance to avoid this. On 6th October, orders were issued to all districts from Delhi Police Licensing HQ. Despite this, incidents of the trade of crackers were reported. Hence, we held a meeting with the police and environment ministry officers to ensure complete on ground implementation and to spread awareness among people. All the district police and licensing headquarters representatives were present at this meeting.”

*Meeting with police proved to be successful: ‘Patakhe Nahi, Diye Jalao’ Campaign to commence from 27th October

Elaborating on the conclusion of the meeting, Shri Gopal Rai continued, “We have decided that we will initiate the ‘Patakhe Nahi, Diye Jalao’ Campaign on 27th October. This campaign has two legs: one, preventing people from bursting crackers; two, for the police and SDMs to collaborate with RWAs to encourage people to celebrate Diwali by lighting diyas instead. We also decided today that a central team of 5-7 members will be appointed at the district level throughout Delhi – 15 teams for 15 districts – to lead the operation at their level. Additionally, a dedicated team of 2 people per police station will be appointed at all 157 stations to monitor at their levels. The district and police station teams will collectively target areas and markets where licensed crackers were earlier sold for patrolling and generating awareness. Moreover, they will work with RWAs and NGOs to spread information regarding the ‘Patakhe Nahi, Diye Jalao’ Campaign. If anyone witnesses an incident of illegal sales and/or burning of firecrackers, they can call 112 and report it following which the police will take the relevant action. 33 teams led by SDMs are appointed which will take action to generate awareness among people in different parts of Delhi. Orders have been issued for SDMs to begin their contribution to this campaign starting 27th October. On 28th and 29th October, all SDMs are ordered to conduct awareness meetings with their respective RWAs, market organisations, and NGOs.”

*Will celebrate Diwali with great zeal and avoid firecrackers to preserve the health of our people: Gopal Rai

He said, “The Delhi Government appeals to all the people of Delhi. Please celebrate Diwali using Diyas and not crackers. Diwali is celebrated by lighting Diyas, crackers only contribute to pollution. We have to celebrate Diwali with great joy and zeal, but at the same time, make sure that we are not polluting our beloved state of Delhi. It is a humble request to all the children, parents, teachers and responsible citizens to ensure that no one bursts crackers in the state. This is a matter that concerns our life. Stubble burning incidents go on a steep rise around Diwali. When their pollution mixes with the pollution of firecrackers, it can prove fatal for our senior citizens and children. This situation is extremely critical and we need to take it very seriously. No matter how much the officers enforce the norms, we can not win this battle unless and until all the people of Delhi actively contribute to the fight. I urge each and every person to take this campaign to every nook and corner of Delhi and make sure that no one bursts crackers this time.”

*Strict action against those who do not comply with the cracker ban: Gopal Rai

Shri Gopal Rai added, “If someone still does not comply with the cracker ban then the police and the SDMs will act as per the IPC Sections 188, 286 and Exclusive Act 5/9B  against them. We will not bear with someone playing with the lives of others in the name of some momental thrill. We will start the campaign actively in Delhi from the 27th.”

*Appeal to prevent ads around Diwali promoting bursting of crackers, replace them with diyas instead: Gopal Rai

“Around Diwali a large volume of advertisements are published around Diwali that showcase people bursting crackers. Overtime, the ads have conditioned people to associate the festival with crackers. We appeal to all the people who are giving out ads to symbolise Diwali with Diyas and not crackers. Diwali was celebrated in the times before crackers existed as well and just like how Holi is celebrated with colours, Diwali can be celebrated with only diyas,” he concluded.