Singed by SC ban, traders cry foul

Admit pollution an issue, but say crackers not the only pollutants

 Singed by SC ban, traders cry foul


Syed Ali Ahmed

WHILE citizens of Delhi-NCR may witness a less-polluted Diwali, with the Supreme Court banning the sale of crackers, traders in the business have been hit hard and have no reason to cheer. Not a single shop dealing with firecrackers is open in Sadar Bazar, Asia’s biggest market. It is the same story at Bhagirath.

“Around Rs 500 crore worth of crackers were sold every Diwali in the NCR. In Delhi, one lakh people are involved in the business. In the NCR, four lakh persons are employed in the trade. Their business is now ruined,” said general secretary, Confederation of All-India Traders, adding that a delegation of traders had met Union Minister Vijay Goel to find a way out.

“The ban came 10 days before the festival when the traders had already been issued licences,” he pointed out.While admitting that pollution is a major issue, traders say crackers are not the only source of pollution and the ban is but a temporary solution.

“All stake-holders transporters, those involved in construction work and industrialists should have been consulted for a lasting solution,” they say.But environmentalists back the Supreme Court order. “The air quality in Delhi is already saturated with pollutants at this time of the year with farmers burning stubble,” points out Bhure Lal Chairman of the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control ) Authority.

Last year, Delhi saw the worst smog in 17 years post-Diwali with the average PM (particulate matter) reaching the unprecedented level of over 700ug/m3, one of the highest recorded the world over and 29 times above the WHO limit.


Source:- Tribune India

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