'Banning sale of firecrackers is a very welcome move as smoke from fireworks is a common trigger for patients of asthma, respiratory distress, bronchitis, persistent cough, burning eyes, itchy throat and other related problems. 'Air pollution in Delhi-NCR is not just devastating the environment, but it might also hurt brand India, thereby severely hitting sectors like tourism and outdoor recreation, as people tend to stay away from polluted areas to avoid dense and toxic air, Mr Jajodia added. 'Sunshine and good air have become luxury for Delhiities, who have been dealing with anxieties over pollution, traffic, and related stress,' he added. About 35 per cent of the 2000 people surveyed expressed anguish, resentment and felt that the ban would mar the festive mood as there has been a long tradition of lighting fireworks on the festival of lights - Deepawali.
Many of them also said that it would only lead to rise in discreet sale of firecrackers and suggested a blanket ban on firecrackers for all festivals celebrated in Delhi-NCR. Some even came up with a unique suggestion of green fireworks, made of special paper and without sulphur. After being lit, such fireworks emit less smoke and leave almost no scrap, the surveyors pointed out. As per experts, the fireworks industry in India has been registering degrowth of about 40 per cent annually during the course of past about five years, leading to rapid decline in profit margins of the manufacturers and traders (wholesale and retail). Reasons for the decline include prevalence of illegally imported Chinese firecrackers, rising raw material prices, dearth of labour, restrictions imposed by local administration, anti-cracker campaigns and other factors. (UNI)