To ensure strict compliance of the Supreme Court's order regarding not allowing bursting of crackers beyond the stipulated timeframe of two hours on Diwali, the Punjab Government on Tuesday issued detailed directions to all Deputy Commissioners, Police Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) and Regional Officers of Punjab Pollution Control Board for strict compliance of these directions.Disclosing this here today, Director Environment & Climate Change K S Pannu stated that in the view of growing air and noise pollution which rises to serious proportions especially during winter season with the unbridled bursting of fire crackers on Diwali/Gurpurab night, there was an urgent need to initiate strong measures to curb this menace. All the concerned authorities have been ordered to maintain strict vigil on Diwali night to stop bursting of crackers outside the allowed limit of 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM only. In case of any violation, the SHO of the concerned Police Station would be held personally liable, and strictly action would be initiated, he added.
The crackers not only release obnoxious molecules in the air but also release Particulate Matter (PM), both PM 2.5 and PM 10 increasing the level of air pollution in the state, he said.These gases and PM 2.5 has the potential to directly enter into our lungs which may cause irreversible damage especially to the children and old people, Pannu further said.Pertinently, Supreme Court in CWP No. 728 of 2015 has ordered banning of all kind of fire cracking before 8 PM and after 10 PM on Diwali and Gurpurab night. On Christmas eve and New Year eve, when such fireworks start around midnight i.e. 12:00 am, the bursting of crackers have been allowed from 11:55 PM till 12:30 AM only.Exhorting one and all to make sincere efforts in safeguarding our planet for future generations, Pannu said it was high time people realize the importance of impending air threat which could hamper the overall quality of our living. He hoped to see a major behavioral shift this time around and the government is duty bound to ensure a clean pollution free environment to its citizens, and implored them to celebrate green Diwali this year.