Firecrackers Ban on Diwali: The good and the bad

Recently the Honourable Supreme Court declared a ban on sale of Firecrackers in Delhi/NCR till Novermber 1st, which essentially means people won’t be able to buy firecrackers for Diwali. How pragmatic is that?


Firecrackers and pollution

A good friend of mine in Delhi was very tense. Her son had developed severe symptoms of asthma at a young age and she was feeling helpless. Although I never mentioned to her, she said that she would understand if I chose to settle in Canada.

A friend of mine was furious. He saw smog engulf his room. His kid was choking and there was little that he could do. When this judgement was released, not only did he welcome it, he also openly abused on Facebook anyone who was critical to it.

The pollution levels of Delhi are insane. If WHO says 50 PPM is safe, the city would be at 600+! An American diplomat literally ran for his life, away from Delhi, back to USA.

I saw a Diwali video my parents sent me via WhatsApp. I have lived in about 9 cities in India, but the amount of crackers Delhiites burn (or blast) is insane. My parents live on 10th floor, the ideal height for the sky bursters to burst, and they kept on bursting right in front of their balcony!

All said and done, I feel this judgement really won’t achieve anything apart from infuriating the religious zealots and giving fake assurance to the ecology lovers. Here is why:


  1. ROAD DUST: 50% [Solution : Grass the footpaths ]
  2. INDUSTRIES: 23% [Solution : Regulate the Industries ]
  3. LOCAL DUST GENERATION: 20% [Solution : Plant more trees ]
  4. VEHICULAR: 7% [Solution : Improve Public Transport ]

The Delhi’s air is literally screwed all around the year. During the Autumn, crops are burnt in the farms and the crop ash ends up falling inside Delhi. This makes Delhi a gas chamber ~ Brace for air pollution in Delhi as crop burning starts in neighbouring states

Regardless, I feel that every Indian and especially people living in NCR and Delhi should support the current ban by Supreme court. It may not clean Delhi’s gas chamber like air but it will certainly stop it from making it even worse like last year when Delhi broke record for registering a pollution level of 999, which was the maximum any PM 2.5 measuring scale could measure.

What I observed during Diwali in Chennai was that although the crackers were more expensive, they were not generating a lot of smoke. In Mississauga, Canada, the government had non stop fireworks for 15 minutes right in front of where I live and hardly any smoke was generated. More firework was burnt than a colony burns in 2 hours in some Indian city.

Better quality but expensive crackers will go a long way in decreasing pollution during Diwali

Outright banning firecrackers in Diwali might be an experiment, but it’s not a solution. It would lead to black marketing of firecrackers, more corruption, contempt of court and bad blood among the Indians.

A more pragmatic approach would have been to pick the highest to lowest polluters (mentioned above) one at a time.

And definitely not increasing the Metro Fares!

~ Rohit Nigam