The yearly burning of crackers, with their massive sounds and potential for injuries and fires, has been a pet cause for environmentalists and nature lovers for decades now. So far, all attempts to impose a ban on the celebrations have met with stiff resistance. 

 

Though there is a rule that crackers are not to be burned from 10 pm to 6 am, it has not been strictly implemented. Also, manufacturers are not complying with rules that specify that they should print – Those below a certain age group should not burn certain crackers – on the cover packs of crackers.

 


However, this has not dampened the optimism of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) which is contemplating a series of bans in the city and the setting up of 'community' spots for the burning of crackers. 

 

The BBMP had tried this method last year as well, but the effort proved to be a damp squib. As the framework had been prepared just two days before the festival last year, most people were not aware of it, which led to a poor response, the authorities justified. 

 

This year BBMP authorities are planning to designate several open public spaces - like playgrounds, pavilions and stadiums - where crackers can be burnt 'safely' as a 'community'. 

 

By giving extensive publicity and awareness, more people are likely to participate, this time, BBMP officials hope.

 

Among the steps the BBMP is planning: 

  • A ban on burning of crackers in front of houses, above and below apartments and flats and in open places where the public and traffic moves.
  • Strict action against those who use high decibel crackers.
  • Ensure safe viewing of the lighting of crackers by people of all ages, from a distance, at community spots.
  • Take precautionary steps in places where community participation is expected.
  • To ensure high-intensity crackers not available in retail outlets in shops and streets.
  • To promote awareness among school going children about crackers safety.