Despite a government ban on crackers in some Uttar Pradesh cities, especially those near Delhi, residents couldn’t resist bursting firecrackers during Diwali on Saturday, resulting in poor Air Quality Index (AQI) level and low visibility the next morning.
Moreover, the debris of firecrackers and other festival paraphernalia were seen littered across the cities like Lucknow, Varanasi, Moradabad, and Kanpur on Sunday.
In wake of the increasing pollution levels, the Uttar Pradesh government has banned the sale or use of firecrackers in Muzaffarnagar, Agra, Varanasi, Meerut, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Moradabad, Noida, Greater Noida, Baghpat, and Bulandshahr till November end.
Despite this, unabated fireworks took place on Diwali night.
The Air Quality Index in the Lalbagh area of Lucknow was recorded at 396 (very poor), as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
Kanpur’s Nehru Nagar recorded an AQI of 328 (very poor), as per CPCB.
Meanwhile, the residents questioned the cracker ban.
“What good did the government ban on firecrackers bring? It was of no use. Lots of firecrackers were burst, emitting a lot of pollutants. During the morning walk today, I faced some difficulties. Then what is the point of this ban,” asked a resident of Kanpur.
Another local resident said despite the ban, people managed to buy firecrackers. “Had the government ensured proper implementation of the ban, the situation would have been different. My question is how come the crackers were burst despite the ban?”
Akash from Moradabad echoed: “Lots of firecrackers were burst on the night of Diwali. I came out for a morning walk today, and I am having trouble breathing because of the pollution and smog.”
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