Jaipur, Nov 8: Flouting the Supreme Court's order, people continued to burst firecrackers past the permissible time limit, resulting in poor air quality in major cities of Rajasthan on Thursday.
As per the Rajasthan State Pollution Control Board data, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 parameters at one centre in Jaipur were 330 and 205 respectively. The condition was no better at the other two centres of the city, with Sethi colony centre witnessing PM 2.5 level at 227 and PM 10 at 194m, while the Shastri Nagar centre recording a PM 2.5 of 197 and PM 10 of 145.
In Jodhpur, the PM 2.5 and PM 10 were recorded 453 and 430 respectively, followed by 364 and 263 in Kota, 359 and 250 in Ajmer, 357 and 331 in industrial town Bhiwadi, 334 and 278 in Udaipur. The Supreme court in its recent order stated that crackers can be burst from 8-10 pm on Diwali.
"We were issued directions to curb noise and air pollution during the Diwali festival. For this, licences were issued to only those sellers having approval from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation," Assistant District Magistrate Jaipur Dhara Singh Meena said, adding that no complaint was made on this issue.
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A senior police official said the police received no clear-cut directions from the SC or the state government to take action against those bursting crackers beyond permissible limit. Meanwhile, cracker sales dropped in the state this year as fewer people bought them compared to the past years.
"The sale has dropped by almost 20 per cent this year due to the rising awareness among kids and their families. Court directives have also dampened the business," said Suresh Hassani, president of Jaipur Fireworks Dealers Association, adding that people should be equally aware about the pollution caused by rising vehicles, air-conditioners rather than focusing on an one-day festival.
Intervention of the court and the administration has evoked mixed reactions in the state.
"Diwali is the only time when all relatives meet each other and burst crackers. We burst limited crackers. People are aware now, court and administration should focus on other serious issues prevailing in the society," Ramesh Bhatia from Jaipur said.
Another resident, Sonu Thakur, said his family abide by various laws, but cannot compromise on celebration.
"We burst cracker for a limited time period. Directions from the court and administration are welcome to raise awareness. People now burst less noisy and polluting crackers."