1 in 3 of Delhi NCR families surveyed likely to burn crackers this Diwali; Some have gotten them already and others know how to
- ● Most believe air pollution increase is due to stubble burning, other reasons
- ● If cracker burning has to be contained on Diwali, administration of Delhi and NCR cities will have to drive stringent and honest enforcement
November 7, 2023, New Delhi: The Supreme Court in September backed Delhi Government’s ban on sale and use of even green crackers given the high levels of air pollution that persists in late October and most of November each year. The AQI in most parts of Delhi NCR has crossed 500 in the first week of November this year with many locations reporting AQIs in the 700-999 range. Upholding the blanket ban orders initially passed in 2018, the Supreme Court stated that as of now everything is banned in Delhi whether it is green or others.
Though the sale of crackers is banned in Delhi, it is not banned in neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and in previous years LocalCircles has reported how many residents of Delhi and NCR procure their crackers from these states. In the LocalCircles survey last week, 75% residents of Delhi NCR surveyed had listed out stubble burning in the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh as the top cause of pollution in the city. Though most have refrained from burning crackers in recent years on Diwali, there is a sizable group of residents who believe that burning crackers on festivals hardly makes a difference and must continue. Cracker sounds were heard across many parts of Delhi NCR at moon sighting on the festival of Karwa Chauth on November 1st.
To understand pulse of Delhi NCR residents on firecrackers and what percentage of families are likely to burn them despite the ban, LocalCircles conducted a survey which received over 9000 responses from residents of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram & Faridabad. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women.
The survey asked residents of Delhi NCR, “What do you plan to do this Diwali in regard to fire crackers?” Out of 9,836 respondents to this query 43% stated that they “will not be burning any crackers as they cause pollution”; 6% stated they “will not be burning as there is a cracker ban in place in my city”; 13% indicated that though they would “like to burn crackers but they aren’t available in my city”; 6% of respondents stated that they “will burn crackers and have already got them from Delhi itself”; 13% indicated that they “will burn crackers and have already got them from NCR cities”; another 13% of respondents shared that they ‘will burn crackers and they know how to get them”. In addition, 6% of respondents did not give a clear response opting for “can’t say”. The survey shows that 32% of Delhi NCR families surveyed are likely to burn crackers this Diwali despite the ban in Delhi and restrictions in other cities in the NCR.
32% Delhi NCR families surveyed likely to burn crackers this Diwali
There is only a slight dip in families planning to burn crackers in Delhi NCR from 39% last year to 32% this year, which is the same as found in the 2018 survey and also in 2021, during the pandemic years.
Despite high levels of air pollution, percentage of Delhi NCR families burning crackers on Diwali not likely to reduce
While the data and perception both indicate that stubble burning in neighbouring states is the primary cause of the increase in air pollution in Delhi NCR from late October to early November, the burning of firecrackers only aggravates the pollution levels further. Data from past years shows a 100-300 point increase in the AQI levels the next day after Diwali in comparison to the previous day. With 32% Delhi NCR families still likely to engage in cracker burning this year, this trend will likely continue. The administration must ramp up its awareness drive and stringent enforcement on sale, transport and burning of crackers. Unfortunately for the administrators, their failure to find real solutions to stubble burning in the neighbouring states over a decade has impacted credibility and hence they are likely to see limited success with the pro-cracker Delhi NCR residents this Diwali. Those citizens who understand why one should refrain from burning crackers should do their bit to educate that eager neighbour or friend looking out to buy crackers this week.
The survey received over 9000 responses from residents of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurugram & Faridabad. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.