Vardhan advocates for ‘silent Diwali’ in Delhi

SansadTV Bureau

HarshRaising a cry for a silent Diwali in the national capital, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung to ensure the execution of a Supreme Court order which bans the bursting of noise- generating firecrackers in residential areas.

Vardhan, the Lok Sabha MP from the Chandni Chowk constituency of Delhi, said in a letter to Jung that while some state governments have been successful in enforcing the ban, the implementation of the apex court’s order was “practically absent” in Delhi.

Children and the elderly are “traumatised” the most by loud firecrackers, said Vardhan, a doctor by training.

“Many excuses have been offered by the administration in the past for Delhi’s general disregard of the Supreme Court’s order. The reasons advanced vary from cultural to police insufficiency. These are all unacceptable.

“I hope that under your direction, Delhi will turn a corner from this Diwali onwards,” an official statement quoted Vardhan as having told Jung in an email.

Supreme Court, through a July, 2005, order had banned the bursting of firecrackers in residential areas.

With only eight days left for Diwali, Vardhan urged the LG to not lose time in issuing strict instructions to all police stations, resident welfare associations and corporation authorities to enforce the ban.

Noise pollution from firecrackers causes physical discomfort to people of all ages and may also lead to psychological disorders, Vardhan said.

He urged the LG to involve school and college principals in advising students about the ill-effects of noise pollution and the responsibility of the new generation in building a compassionate society.

“I also suggest that a campaign be launched at the earliest so that people do not invest in noise-generating firecrackers. It (enforcing the ban) would serve no purpose after most people have bought them…,” Vardhan said.