Are Delhiites ready for a cracker-free Diwali this year?

New Delhi: Banning the sale and use of conventional firecrackers, the Supreme Court ordered the police force to crack down against people found bursting firecrackers, as well as against firecracker sellers across the city.

The police said that on Wednesday, ie Diwali, they would focus on stopping people from illegally bursting the conventional firecrackers. Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma said that local police stations have been instructed to increase patrolling around neighbourhoods to track any violation.

“We will act on any complaints we receive in the control room and also inspect areas to check for remains of burnt crackers,” Verma said, reports HT.

On the eve of Diwali, enforcement teams were seen guarding the wholesale cracker markets in Sadar Bazaar, Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, and Karol Bagh. Heavy deployment was seen near godowns and shops — any place which had a possibility of hosting illegal sale of crackers. Police have also deployed personnel in civil clothes to evade suspicion.

Officials deployed at the market told the national daily that most exchanges were found to have been happening at shops that were ostensibly selling decorative items for the festival.

Since SC’s order on October 23, the Delhi Police have seized around 5,000kg of illegal firecrackers, which contain polluting chemicals.

Police said that Dwarka and Uttam Nagar have become new hubs for illegal sale of firecrackers. Apart from Tuesday’s seizure when the police recovered 250kg of illegal firecrackers from Uttam Nagar, Sadar Bazar and Kalyanpuri, around 30kg of firecrackers were seized from the area in the last two days. On Sunday too, a dealer was arrested with 22kg of crackers from Uttam Nagar.

“There are sellers who have invested lakhs of rupees in buying stock and are left with no other option but to sell it illegally. This would not have happened, had the agencies found an alternative for us,” a firecrackers trader told the daily.