New Delhi: Supporting the Supreme Court (SC) ruling in its ban on firecrackers this Diwali, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan has requested scientists to develop eco-friendly, pollution-free firecrackers.
While many people across the nation have welcomed the SC’s decision, the same has also been met with a fair amount of criticism from those who feel it’s an insult to Hindu tradition.
Last week, the Environment Minister was slammed on Twitter for tweeting in support of the SC order. The SC put a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till October 31, keeping the increasing pollution under consideration.
Flagging off the ‘Run for Clean Air’ campaign here as a part of the ‘Clean Air Campaign’, Vardhan said that the ill-effects of pollution cause maximum problems to children.
The event was attended by around 10,000 students from various schools in Delhi and the NCR. “Dr Harsh Vardhan told the gathering of students that the scientists have been asked to develop zero-pollution firecrackers that do not cause health hazards to children,” the union environment ministry said in a statement.
On this occasion, Vardhan also administered a pledge to promote clean air – “Let us together pledge for a New India… Let us together pledge towards a Clean India… Let us together pledge towards a casteism-free India”. Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma said ‘swacchata’ (cleanliness) has to be a collective endeavour.
“The legacy that we leave behind in terms of clean air is very important,” he said. Singer Durga Jasraj, sang a couple of compositions, including a song on the importance of clean air.
Environment-friendly slogans on banners and posters such ‘Sab milkar karo virodh, roko Paryavaran ka durupayog’ dotted the India Gate lawns.
The ‘Clean Air Campaign’ was launched to create a mass movement to reduce air pollution. Diwali 2016 really put things into perspective after people around Delhi-NCR complained of near zero visibility, respiratory issues, burning eyes, etc, the following day. The pollution during that period rose with aggression each day, shrouding the national capital in the worst smog in 17 years.