Newton proved that every action has equal and opposite reaction, but despite the action taken by activists and Bombay high court, state has still not ‘reacted’ on a draft rule framed specially for firecrackers.
In 2008, Mumbai Police Commissioner submitted an affidavit in Bombay high court while hearing a Public Interest Litigation related to noise pollution. In affidavit, there was a draft on “Bombay Prohibition & regulation of Fireworks Rule 2008”; to be made a part of Bombay Police Act 1951.
The draft talked about a complete ban on bursting firecrackers in public places such as roads, highways, flyovers along with prohibiting firecrackers within 100mts of hostels, old age homes, sanatoriums and so on. The draft also specified restrictions on use of crackers, specifically rockets and cracker bombs, in areas of worship.
“The Mumbai Police submitted the draft on September 9, 2008. But no one knows what happened after that,” said Sumaira Abdulali, head of Awaaz Foundation.
When contacted by Team DNA, Arup Patnaik, commissioner of police, Mumbai said that he was not aware of the draft rule. The team then spoke to Sheela Sail, DCP, headquarter (arms & ammunition). But even she was unaware of the draft. UC Sarangi, additional chief secretary (home) was unavailable for comments.
Commissioner of Police, Thane, KP Raghuvanshi, however, confirmed that the draft is not notified. “But we take action if someone ignites crackers in a silence zone,” he said.
Central Pollution Control Board restricts manufacturing of crackers above 125 dB and earmarks department of explosives (DOE) to implement the rules, but in reality neither Maharashtra Pollution Control Board nor DOE conducts any check on sale of such crackers.