Maharashtra Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam on Tuesday said he would request Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to ban firecrackers in the state along the lines of the Supreme Court order for Delhi and the National Capital Region, ANI reported.
“Festivals in Maharashtra should be pollution-free,” Kadam was quoted as saying. “When we burn firecrackers during Diwali, it causes pollution, affects human beings, shops get ablaze, and children also die.”
The Shiv Sena leader also told the Hindustan Times that a ban on firecrackers will not be introduced in Maharashtra immediately as the government would first focus on raising awareness about its harmful effects.
“Our emphasis will be on creating awareness among youngsters and their parents, highlighting the ill-effects of pollution,” he told the newspaper. “We don’t want to dilute the happiness of the festival of lights by banning firecrackers. There have already been too many restrictions on festivals.”
Kadam said he will discuss the matter with the chief minister and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray.
On Monday, the Supreme Court reinstated a ban on the sale of firecrackers during Diwali celebrations in Delhi and the National Capital Region till November 1. The court said it wants to assess the difference in air quality in the highly polluted region.
The order elicited various reactions from people. While some welcomed the decision and said the ban should be extended to the whole of India, several others argued that the decision was a great example of judicial overreach.