Our Govt’s Priority Is To Save Human Lives, Not Interested In Politics Over Firecrackers: Rai

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Sunday said his government’s priority is to save human lives and that it is not interested in politics over firecrackers.

Pollution levels rise around Diwali every year. The major reason is burning of firecrackers. Emissions from firecrackers are extremely dangerous especially for kids, women and the elderly, he told reporters here.

The Delhi government has re-imposed a complete ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers till January 1, including on Diwali, a practice it has been following for the last two years.   “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,” he said.

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

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

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Rai had on Wednesday said bursting of firecrackers on Diwali in Delhi will attract jail term up to six months and a fine of Rs 200.

He said production, storage and sale of firecrackers in the 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.  A total of 408 teams have been set up to implement the ban. The Delhi Police has set up 210 teams under assistant commissioners of police, while the Revenue Department has set up 165 teams and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee has constituted 33 teams. 

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