Nanjing partially lifts firecracker ban
The decade-long ban on firecrackers and fireworks will soon be partially lifted in the capital of East China's Jiangsu Province.
The Nanjing Municipal People's Congress late last month decided to revise the regulations on the prohibition of firecrackers and fireworks.
The new regulations will come into force after being approved by the Standing Committee of the Municipal People's Congress.
The controversial ban was introduced in 1994. It was mainly aimed at preventing the use of fireworks during Spring Festival, the Chinese Lunar New Year.
According to the revision, Nanjing people will be able to let off limited types of firecrackers and fireworks in a limited number of places over a certain period of time.
For example, from midnight on Lunar New Year's Eve to midday of the fifth day of the New Year, citizens will be able to celebrate the festival by letting off certain kinds of firecrackers and fireworks on appointed sites outside the six main zones of the city.
Use of fireworks and firecrackers will remain prohibited in places like shopping centres, parks, schools, hospitals, bus stations, docks, squares and scenic spots.
Sun Dewen, head of the Nanjing Public Security Bureau, explained the three main reasons for the relaxation of the ban.
Residents of Nanjing want to celebrate the festival in the traditional manner.
The Standing Committee of the Nanjing Municipal People's Congress has received written suggestions from 313 citizens.
Of them, 176 people suggested that the ban should be retained, accounting for 56.2 per cent, and 137 suggested that there should be a limited relaxation of the ban, accounting for 43.8 per cent.
The city government has solicited comments from 23 enterprises. Five of them thought that the prohibition should be continued, while 18 of them thought that the prohibition should be scrapped either fully or to a certain extent.
"Letting off firecrackers and fireworks is an old tradition of the Chinese people. Spring Festival without the sound is too quiet and cheerless," said Yu Xiaoyu, a 65-year-old man.
Steps will be taken to ensure that fireworks and fireworks are used safely.
Many cities across China have already relaxed the ban.
Statistics show that among the 282 cities in which firecrackers and fireworks are prohibited, 105 of them have already relaxed the ban to some extent, including Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Shijiazhuang, Xi'an, Qingdao and Ningbo.
The major reasons for the ban, introduced on December 1, 1994, were to reduce air and noise pollution, prevent and reduce fires and people's injuries caused by firecrackers and fireworks.
The Nanjing city government strengthened the ban on December 25, 1995.
This February 20, the Nanjing Municipal People's Congress held a working conference to discuss a range of regulations and rules, including the ban.
And this May 10, the Standing Committee of Nanjing Municipal People's Congress began to solicit comments on relaxing the ban from local citizens.