To reduce air pollution, India’s capital bans fireworks during the Diwali festival

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | 07:08 WIB

Surya Lesmana / LES

New Delhi was the world’s most polluted capital for the third consecutive year in 2020.

New Delhi, – India’s capital New Delhi has introduced a ban on setting off fireworks ahead of the Diwali festival in a bid to reduce winter air pollution. According to environmental officials in the city of New Delhi, the ban was implemented on Monday (November 9, 2023) because air quality had reached dangerous levels.

“Manufacture, storage, sale, online delivery and bursting of all types of firecrackers is completely banned in Delhi,” official Gopal Rai said at a press conference.

He added that police had been ordered to stop issuing fireworks permits.

Firecrackers are part of the celebrations of the Hindu festival of Diwali, which takes place in mid-November this year.

The smoke from hundreds of fireworks that light up the sky during the festival leaves the city in a toxic haze. This is made worse as the colder air traps dust, vehicle emissions and pollution from stubble burning in the area.

New Delhi’s city government will meet experts this week to draw up an action plan to combat pollution in winter, when dirty air causes a rise in respiratory illnesses in one of the world’s most polluted cities.

In recent years, the city government has banned the use and sale of fireworks before the festival, threatening jail time and fines for those who violate the order.

The government said the city reported its best air quality since 2015, thanks to measures such as encouraging the use of greener vehicles.

The life expectancy of New Delhi residents would increase by 11.9 years if India met World Health Organization guidelines to limit the amount of lung-damaging particles in the air, known as PM 2.5, to 5 micrograms per cubic meter.

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