Rally Taken Out Against Use Of Firecrackers In Odisha’s Berhampur City

Berhampur: Even as the Supreme Court imposed a ban on firecrackers on Diwali, a rally was taken out to promote awareness about toxic effects of the crackers in Berhampur city in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Friday.

Aryabhatta Environment & Nature Foundation, led by renowned environmentalist, Sudhir Rout took out the rally appealing to the people not to use any kind of firecrackers during Diwali celebration on November 12. The participants carried placards with slogans to ban firecrackers and save lives.

The Foundation organised roadside meetings at four places during the 6-km rally from Old Bus Stand to Bada Bazar. Rout, considered ‘Green Man of Odisha’, also answered the people’s questions on use od firecrackers and its bad effects on environment and lives.

The members of the foundation throughout the rally requested the public through public address system to celebrate Diwali by lighting earthen lamps avoiding bursting of crackers. “We must celebrate the festival without crackers. Instead of wasting money on crackers, everybody must purchase sweets and distribute it among others, feed the poor and hungry and help the homeless people,” they said.

Rout said Air Quality Index (AQI) falls rapidly after Diwali. Birds and honeybees are found dead following Diwali and sometimes the sound and the toxic air turns fatal even for the people. The use of crackers and fireworks leads to rise in suspended particulate matter (Pm) and noxious gases making the air polluted. As a result, people vulnerable to allergy face suffocation in the respiratory tract, he added.

While welcoming the recent ruling of the Supreme Court on the firecrackers with barium and other banned chemicals, Sudhir doubted its implementation.

“There is no monitoring system to check the components of barium and other chemicals in firecrackers. There is no mention of components on the crackers’ wrappers. Though one can test the chemical components of crackers in any science laboratory, no attempt has yet been made to test it,” he said.

“Though the markets are flooded with ‘Green Crackers’, the brand itself is an eyewash. We cannot term any cracker as ‘Green Crackers’ till we adopt a proper monitoring system to check the components. So, the best option is to totally do away with the firecrackers,” he added.

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