India Bans Sale of Fireworks in Capital

SC-LD FIRECRACKERS

There will be no firecrackers available for purchase this Diwali as the Supreme Court upheld its earlier verdict banning sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region.

The court wants to "see at least in one Diwali the impact of a cracker-free festivity".

New Delhi has banned shops selling fireworks in a bid to combat chronic levels of air pollution.

In its latest order, the apex court said that its September 12 order will be effective from November 1.

Every year, in the days following the festival, city hospitals report a spike in respiratory and asthma cases and many people find it hard to breathe.

"The ban will ensure that the levels of air pollutant do not reach as high a limit as they did past year around Diwali", said Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

The Bench said the 11 November 2016 order was passed by the court keeping in view the situation that had then arisen after Diwali. This year, Supreme Court has made a decision to not let the crackers be a reason behind the increasing pollution of Delhi.

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Some shopkeepers argue that pollution by firecrackers last for only a week, but vehicles pollute the cities throughout the year, and no one does anything about it.

The court reportedly said it wanted to assess whether the ban would make a difference to Delhi's pollution levels.

"What the court's order means is that all licenses to sell firecrackers stand canceled till October 31", said Haripriya Padmanabhan, a lawyer for the petitioners - three children aged between 18 and 26 months.

" The petition was moved by three children aged in 2015".

In a series of tweets, Bhagat compared the ban on firecrackers to banning Christmas trees on Christmas or goat slaughter on Bakri Eid.

India's Central Pollution Control Board told the court it also wanted the ban to be restored. But the effect of that order would not be discernible as in the judgment dated September 12, 2017, the said order stands relaxed.

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