Delhi High Court. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, Oct 23 : The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the authorities to treat as representation a plea seeking directions to the appropriate departments of the Centre and Delhi government to take immediate and appropriate steps to ban burning of effigies and fire-crackers in Delhi during Dussehra in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We hereby direct the concerned respondents to treat this petition as a representation and decide the same in accordance with law, rules, regulations and government policies," said a division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Chetan Hasija and Sahil Sharma seeking a ban on burning of effigies and firecrackers in view of the increasing air pollution and the Covid-19 pandemic.

As we are entering the winter season, the air quality index (AQI) suggested by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Central Pollution Control Board reflects a surge in PM 2.5 and PM 10 particles in the air which is likely to get worsened gradually, the plea said.

The major reason behind this sudden degradation of air quality is the ongoing practice of Stubble burning (Parali) by the farmers which are currently happening in neighboring states such as Punjab and Haryana. As a result, Delhi is becoming a gas chamber and is marked as one of the most polluted cities in the world, the plea said further.

The plea further states that apart from stubble burning Delhi experience degradation of air quality because of the burning of effigies and crackers during October and November due to the holy festivals of Dusshera and Diwali.

"The customary practice of the burning of effigies ofthe Ravana, Kumbhakarna, and Meghanada I are symbols for the victory of Good over Evil. On the other hand, the burning of effigies and crackers/fireworks causes a lot of pollution," it said.

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