Ban on firecrackers in J&K

Kashmir Times. Dated: 11/6/2020 12:44:26 AM

Climate change or its impact on weather patterns or pollution caused by firecrackers have not become serious subjects for governments in J&K

None of the successive rulers in Jammu and Kashmir either before its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh last year or later appear to be serious in tracking the ill-impact of rising pollution or noise pollution caused by continued bursting of firecrackers. While most of the state governments are aware of the pollution caused by firecrackers during the festive season amid the lockdown in the wake of Coronavirus and banned bursting of firecrackers, J&K and Ladakh governments are sitting pretty as if nothing is happening. Even before the festive season of Dussehra and Dewali, firecrackers noise continues to rent the air of Temple town of Jammu. Not only that marriage processions, though on smaller scale during the lockdown and later, the celebrations of all types of political victories appear to announced with the bursting of firecrackers in Jammu city. The occasion for promulgation of new land laws and change in the previous ones for the residents of J&K, wherein the disenfranchising of the people continues, are celebrated by the ruling BJP with bursting of firecrackers outside their party office and other places in the city. This was a massive show of light and sound even organized by the party zealots to showcase celebrations that they claimed heralding new era of development for the people of J&K. Even the previous occasions of reading down of Article 370 and doing away with Article 35A became celebration occasions for the party and its workers across the length and breadth of J&K and Ladakh. It is not matter whether people participated in these shows of celebrations or not. Such actions continue to convey a message that the party is in celebrations moods and the occasion is to be marked with massive bursting of firecrackers for hours together. So before and after when the festive season began, firecrackers have become a part and parcel of daily routine for the people living in Jammu city and elsewhere. Whether the sale and bursting of firecrackers is banned or not, it does not make any difference, if the ruling party at Delhi decides to celebrate the occasion, whatever be the reason and there is no official check on such activities.
Apart from this, the governments across the country, particularly Delhi, are busy in taking stock of pollutant emission in the air due to vehicles, industrial activities and firecrackers, the governments in J&K and Ladakh are definitely sleeping over the entire issue. Pollution is not an issue in this part of the country because the air comparatively cleaner and easy to breath for most part of the year except when the dust and smog is too much in the air on some occasions. Spread of Coronavirus is another serious concern in most parts of the country and pollution in air could further worsen it, so the respective state governments are taking measures accordingly. In J&K, except for the medical activities enabled by the available infra-structure, Corona spread is not bothering the government except for doling out the figures on regular basis on the number of patients, new arrivals or those requiring quarantine facilities or hospital admissions. It is surprising that the J&K government has not conducted any review of the pollution levels across the J&K UT or Ladakh due to increased movement of vehicles even during the lockdown period. If the pollution level in gradual Unlockdown of markets and other facilities can be alarming in Delhi, why can’t such an emergency be visualized in J&K. But, it appears that rulers in J&K are sleeping over such serious issues and are more concerned in furthering the political agenda of their masters in Delhi. At a time when firecrackers can become a nuisance for majority of the people across J&K, mainly the cities, the administration needs to wake up from its deep slumber and initiate corrective measures for keeping the pollution at bay in the interest of the health of the people.



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