Delhi Cracker Ban: Our Priority Is To Save Lives, Not Interested In Politics, Says Minister

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing row over ban on firecrackers in Delhi, Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Sunday said that the priority of his government is to save human lives and it is not interested in politics, news agency PTI reported.

“Our priority is to save lives. We are not interested in politics over firecrackers. Some people even moved the Supreme Court over the issue. There is no scope of a debate after the apex courts’ decision in the matter,” PTI quoted Rai as saying.

It is to be noted that the Delhi government has re-imposed a blanket ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1, including Diwali. This practice is being followed in the national capital over the last two years.

The Supreme Court on Thursday had turned down a plea by BJP MP Manoj Tiwari seeking urgent hearing of a petition challenging the complete ban on firecrackers in Delhi.

BJP leaders had earlier slammed the Delhi government over the complete ban on firecrackers, and dubbed the Arvind Kejriwal-led dispensation as “anti-Hindu”.

Speaking to PTI, Rai said pollution levels rise every year around Diwali and the major reason behind it is burning of firecrackers. Emissions from firecrackers are extremely dangerous, especially for women, children and the elderly, he said.

The minister on Wednesday had said that bursting of crackers on Diwali in Delhi will attract jail term of up to six months and a fine of Rs 200.

He also said that production, storage and sale of firecrackers in the national capital will be punishable with a fine of up to Rs 5,000 and three years in jail under Section 9B of the Explosives Act. 

It is to be noted that a total of 408 teams have been set up to implement the ban, according to reports.

The Delhi Police has set up 210 teams led by assistant commissioners of police, while the Revenue Department has set up 165 teams and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has constituted 33 teams to enforce the ban.