An Indian vendor sells earthen lamps ahead of Diwali in Prayagraj on Friday. Rajesh Kumar Singh/ AP
For millions of Indians, Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time to spread cheer, friendship and togetherness. It is also a time when children in particular are extremely eager to welcome the celebrations, mainly due to the firecrackers. Till 2018, loud firecrackers were the norm, amid shrieks of delight from the young and old alike. However, last year, the government banned traditional firecrackers, citing environmental reasons, putting a dampener of sorts on the high spirits of the celebrants. Now, it plans low-emission firecrackers and light shows, but its uneven rollout has hurt some businesses and proven difficult to enforce.
The measures for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, on Sunday follow a 2018 Supreme Court ruling banning traditional firecrackers.
India’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research says “green” firecrackers produce 30% fewer emissions and don’t contain arsenic.
The New Delhi government will stage a four-day laser show starting Saturday to encourage residents to skip firecrackers altogether.
Urban policy researcher Rumi Aijaz says that one day’s efforts can impact air quality because they come at a critical period in the pollution season when farmers in northern India burn crop stubble to clear fields.
The Indian festival Diwali, which is also called the festival of lights, is celebrated in full swing all around the country, even amid the on-going coronavirus restrictions.
More than a billion Indians celebrated Diwali on Saturday amid twin concerns of a resurgence in coronavirus infections and rising air pollution that is enveloping the country’s north in a cloud of thick toxic smog.
The festival city also hosted a breathtaking display of fireworks to begin the celebrations.
Air pollution in some parts of the Indian capital deteriorated early on Monday to the worst recorded level, officials said, a day after revellers set off fireworks to mark Diwali in celebrations that were more subdued than in previous years.
The agreement was signed by Engineer Hatem Al-Mousa, Executive Director of Sharjah National Oil Corporation, and Michel Abi Saab, General Manager of Emerge.
The system includes workers in the federal government sector and the private sector, both citizens and residents.
The trio, whose names were leaked in the Swedish press ahead of the announcement, succeeded in producing these tiny components, that "now spread their light from televisions and LED lamps, and can also guide surgeons when they remove tumour tissue, among many other things," the jury said.
Early voting on whether to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution and create a "Voice to Parliament" to give them an avenue to advise the government on matters affecting First Nations Australians began on Monday.