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Responsibility of clean air lies with all: Assocham

Expressing concern over poor implementation of the Supreme Court ban on the sale of fire crackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), industry chamber Assocham on Saturday said ensuring a clean environment should be a combined responsibility of the centre, the state governments, civil society and public at large and not of the apex court alone.

“The economic interest of the traders and the manufacturers was involved; but once the Supreme Court had banned sale of fire crackers, the enforcement of the order should have been ensured by the Union Environment Ministry, Delhi Government, state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in the entire National Capital Region,” said D S Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM.

Though there was a voluntary compliance in the select areas, the ban was largely defied through sale of fire crackers on the sly inside the localities, with the result that though the damage to the environment this year was less than the previous few years, the air pollution in the NCR was still 18 times the limit allowed, the industry chamber said.

“Learning from the experience this year, there is a need for a well-coordinated action plan to control the air pollution not only during Diwali but throughout the year, more so during the winter when the sky is overcast with haze and toxic gases, severely damaging the health of millions of people, particularly the children,” the chamber said.