দীপাবলিতে বাজি নিষিদ্ধ করা হোক। মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়ের লেখা এক চিঠিতে এই আবেদন জানিয়েছেন বিশিষ্ট চিকিৎসক এবং পরিবেশপ্রেমীরা। চিকিৎসক ও পরিবেশপ্রেমীদের বিভিন্ন সংগঠনের বেশ কয়েকটি স্বেচ্ছাসেবী সংস্থাও মুখ্যমন্ত্রীর কাছে এই আর্জি জানিয়েছে। এর মধ্যে রয়েছে Bengal Clean Air Network (under aegis of SwitchON Foundation), Association of Radiation Oncologists of India, Society of Emergency Medicine India, South Asian Medical Students Association এবং Greenpeace, Rainforest Alliance, TSHED, Y-East-এর মতো স্বেচ্ছাসেবী সংগঠন।
কালীপুজোর মুখে মুখ্যমন্ত্রীর কাছে লেখা চিঠিতে এইসব সংগঠনের সঙ্গে যুক্ত বিশিষ্ট চিকিৎসক, পরিবেশ বিশেষজ্ঞরা জানিয়েছেন, প্রতি বছর দীপাবলির সময় বায়ুদূষণ বেড়ে যায়। যদি বাজি পোড়ানো পুরোপুরি নিষিদ্ধ না করা হয়, তবে দূষণের মাত্রা আরও বেড়ে যাবে।
চিঠিতে করোনার বাড়বাড়ন্ত নিয়েও উদ্বেগপ্রকাশ করা হয়েছে।
The Honorable Chief Minister,
Government of West Bengal
23rd October, 2021
Diwali & Kali Puja ~ Festivals of light or smoke? – Request for Action Against Firecrackers
We would like to begin by offering our heartfelt greetings – Subho Bijoya. We are immensely grateful to you for hearing our appeal and would like to congratulate you for banning firecrackers in the state of West Bengal in the previous year, which had a very important impact on the city air.
We write to you with the same intention this year to be able to celebrate a safe and healthy Diwali and Kali Puja for everyone.
We at the Bengal Clean Air Network (Bengal-CAN), a network of organisations andindividuals, are greatly concerned about the quality of air in our state under the aegis of SwitchON Foundation. Our concern is based on the strong evidence that air pollution is extremely damaging to public health and the bursting of crackers adds to the existing alarming levels of pollution during festivals.
This year there are two additional reasons for us to be concerned:
- November generally marks the beginning of the winter season in Kolkata and Diwali and Kali Puja are at the beginning of the month which is likely to make the air pollution worse than normal.
- West Bengal is logging new COVID-19 cases again, as per latest reports the case has over seven thousand active cases with over seven hundred fresh cases each day and cases doubling in Bengal (source TOI). Studies have shown a strong correlation between the spread of COVID-19 and air pollution, stating that even a single-point increase in air pollution will lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases by between 6-7%. Studies have also shown that Air pollution is linked to 15% COVID-19 deaths worldwide. This means that Diwali firecrackers that add to air pollution will also be contributing to an increase in the likelihood of infection spreading and higher mortality. https://err.ersjournals.com
May we request your considering the following steps:
- To impose a complete ban on firecrackers during the festivals of Diwali and Kali Puja. With harsh penalties for the violators. This is in line with the Government of West Bengal decision in 2020 and also the supreme court order of 2018 and being implemented by Govt of Delhi every year.
- To sensitise the mass on the ban of firecrackers through awareness (public addressing system) in digital/ print media/ radio.
- High-Rise buildings and residential / congested areas are to be given stern warnings to adhere to these regulations as they pose problems of both noise and air pollution. A Police Helpline where citizens can report violations would help enormously.
- Maintain strong vigilance on the particular days of celebration in order to ensure adherence to the rules.
- Markets and retailers selling firecrackers may be subjected to random checks and those selling firecrackers should have their stocks confiscated.
The Delhi Govt. has already announced a complete ban on the storage, sale and use of all firecrackers during the Diwali festival for 2021, if something on similar grounds could be adopted for West Bengal.
May we request a meeting with you so that we and our associates can discuss the problem and these suggestions. We would be very keen to support government initiatives and sensitise citizens to become responsible.
We thank you and offer you our good wishes.
Dr. Arup Halder, Consultant Pulmologist, Woodlands Multispeciality Hospital
Dr Kaustav Choudhury, Pediatric Consultant Apollo Gleneagles Hospital.
Dr Suman Mallik ,Vice President, Association of Radiation Oncologists of India, West Bengal
Dr. Sanjukta Dutta, Chair, EM and public health wing, Society of emergency medicine India, WB Chapter .
Dr. Soirindhri Banerjee, Secretary of Human Resources,(SAMSA) South Asian Medical Students Association.
Dr. M. V. Chandrakanth, Consultant Medical Oncology, Narayana Superspeciality Hospitals.
Vinay Jaju, MD, SwitchON Foundation
Avinash Kumar Chancal, Senior Campaigner, Greenpeace
Harkirat Sidhu, Consultant, Rainforest Alliance
Md Alamgir, Chief Functionary, TSHED
Pauline Laravoire, Co-Founder & Director, Y-East Kolkata
Nobina Gupta, Founder Director, Disappearing Dialogues Collective
Vijay Agarwal , Secretary, Active Citizens Together for Sustainability (ACTS)
Lata Bhatia , Founder , Kolkata Zero Waste Bazar
Anshuman Das , Program Manager, Welthungerhilfe
Abhinav Bajpai, Founder, Ubuntu Community
Aditi De,Speech and Hearing Institute and Research Centre