Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a press conference on Monday afternoon to announce the plans to celebrate 'inclusive Diwali'. Kejriwal said that the Delhi Government has planned a four-day event for the people of Delhi to attend a laser ceremony in the evenings. The celebrations will take place in the capital city's famous area called Connaught Place. CM Kejriwal also used the opportunity to extend his Diwali greetings to the entire city.
Kejriwal mentioned that the celebrations will begin on 'Chotti Diwali' on October 26 and will go on for four days till October 29, which is 'Bhai Dooj'. The first show will be inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor of New Delhi, Anil Baijal.
A laser show has been organised from 6 PM and it will go on till 10 PM. The show will have an hourly cycle and there will be no restrictions on entry. The Chief Minister also highlighted that a person who comes to watch the show can sit for however long he or she wants to and that arrangements have been made for various art and cultural programmes in the area with special provisions of a food court and a bazaar.
Kejriwal stated that the entire city is like a family and that he wants everyone to come together and celebrate the occasion. He also urged the citizens to not burst any firecrackers. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the plan is to celebrate the occassion in the form of community Diwali and that there is no point in bursting crackers anyway. Sisodia added that it'll help to celebrate a 'pollution-free Diwali'.
Kejriwal had announced the plans to celebrate Diwali together a few weeks earlier. Highlighting some of the concerns and queries raised, he mentioned that this year, the celebrations will be in only one place and if the experiment was successful, they could expand to other locations next year onwards. He specified that restrictions will only be imposed on the movement of cars in the area, and car parking arrangements will be made in nearby locations. There will be battery-operated cars ferrying the public from the parking spots to the location of the laser show. Sisodia also said that metro operations will not stop during the four days, and hence people will have the option of using public transport as well. There was another concern that the traders were unhappy since it'll restrict their business and those concerns were played down by the CM, who said that the traders will make double the business since the entire city will be present in the one area.
Kejriwal was asked about his decision to distribute masks to schools in order to combat pollution. Hs said that the distribution process had not started since all the masks had not arrived yet and once all the masks arrive, they will be immediately distributed.