WHILE MANY have given thumbs up to the Punjab and Haryana High Court order of limiting bursting of crackers from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm only, for some, especially children, it is a disappointment as this is the only day they wait for in the entire year to burst crackers.
Niveta, 8 year-old, Class II
Every year, I would start bursting crackers a day before and even save some for the day after Diwali. But, my father told me about the time limit and said the police will come and catch me if I burst it after the given time. He even told me that he would buy me a new dress instead of crackers. But crackers are crackers. I told him he could buy me small ones at least. I was eagerly waiting for this day. I have assured my dad that I will burst them within the allowed time of three hours.
Reva Tewari, coordinator of The Gurukul, Sector 20, Panchkula
We advised our children of the school that they need to abide by the High Court ruling on bursting minimum crackers within the time limit of 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm. We even showed videos to our children on how pollution from crackers can be a health deterrent. The teachers also communicated to the children the important message of spreading love and celebrating the festival of lights in its true spirit.
Dr Vikas Sharma, resident of Sector 34, Chandigarh
The decision of fixing a time limit for bursting crackers is a good one but I feel further steps need to be taken to check the air pollution in Tricity like a check on increasing vehicles as well as diesel vehicles. At the same time, I just hope the situation may not be misused by the police officials implementing the orders and this becomes an opportunity for earning money or framing innocent people. I think the administration should create more and more awareness first and seniors may caution the field staff against harassing a common man in lieu of their earning.
Pradeep Chaudhary, Sector 2, Panchkula
This is the only festival of Hindus and restricting people to burst crackers is not done at all. At least the time should have been from 8 pm to 11 pm. It is just one day in the entire year that people actually wait for. Especially children who are really excited are disheartened. Isn’t there pollution because of the increasing vehicles in Tricity. Why isn’t there a ban on that?
Mallika Singh, 18-year-old, Ist year college student
I feel they should ban crackers altogether from IPL matches, new year celebrations, marriages, everywhere. It is a suicidal form of celebration. People should show creativity in celebrating. They should do it in ways that does not make the air unbreathable.
Vishnu Goel, President of Haryana Chamber of Industries
Even otherwise, I would never approve of bursting crackers. Usually, there is so much of noise and pollution that it is difficult to even breathe when you go out at night. We give thumbs up to this decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. I just hope it is implemented by the administration in letter and spirit.
Vibha Ray, Principal of DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, Chandigarh
Bursting of crackers, I have always believed, is not just a waste of money but a crime, too. It harms more humans, plants and animals by causing pollution and creating health issues. I welcome the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision. Three hours are sufficient. We have to think of everybody and not individual interest.
Atul Khanna, Director Strawberry Fields High School
Frankly, we should not burst crackers at all. We know most cracker factories indulge in child labour and they follow next to no regulations and safety standards. Most importantly, they just add to the noise and air pollution. A country like India can ill-afford this kind of celebration. Question of protesting on timings then is a non-issue.
Kartik, 19-year-old, BCA, IInd year
This is a welcome step though it would deprive many, especially children, of certain pleasure as they wait for this festival for the entire year. Even I would burst crackers with my friends. But the fact is that at times, one has to sacrifice small pleasures for larger interests. I think the government should explore possibilities of developing more and more environment friendly crackers.