Supreme Court Bans Entry Of Firecrackers In Delhi-NCR For Dussehra, Diwali

Glen Mclaughlin
September 13, 2017

Justice Madan B Lokur said, "There is enough quantity of crackers already available in the regions of Delhi, NCR".

The Supreme Court on Tuesday took a dig at the Delhi government, saying that all its directions to create awareness on the hazards of bursting fireworks was "merely paperwork" and its awareness campaigns have been "allowed to drift" and become "lethargic" during the last one year.

"The suspension of permanent licences as directed by the order dated 11th November, 2016 is lifted for the time being".

The Supreme Court today modified its November 2016 order on the sale of fireworks, observing that a complete ban would be "an extreme step". "However, it is made explicit that the sale of fireworks by the permanent licensees must conform to the directions given above and must be fully in compliance with the Explosives Rules", the bench said. Referring to the risky levels of air pollution in Delhi after Diwali a year ago, the bench said persons living in Delhi during that time would have experienced choking effects of breathing in polluted air and tremendous increase in the use and sale of face masks and air purifiers.

Regarding the health issues of children and Pollution Court has taken this decision.

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"The graded and balanced approach is not meant to dilute our primary concern which is and remains the health of everybody and the human right to breathe good quality air or at least not be compelled to breathe poor quality air".

It said the health of people in Delhi-NCR must take precedence over any commercial or other interest of the fire crackers manufacturers and a graded regulation was needed which would eventually result in prohibition.

The court also directed the Delhi Police to reduce the number of temporary licence by 50 per cent of those granted a year ago and cap it at 500. In 2016, a total of 968 temporary licences were issued for a period of 24 days in Delhi. "The health of children should be of foremost concern in this regard", it said.

While making absolute its July 31 direction that prohibited use of metals like antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic, and lead in the manufacture of fireworks, the court permitted the sale of fireworks containing aluminium, sulphur, potassium, and barium. It also appointed a high level committee consisting of representatives from CPCB, National Physical Laboratory, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences, IIT Kanpur, Fire Development and Research Centre, National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and scientists from the State Pollution Control Boards to conduct a study on adverse health impact on people due to bursting fireworks during Dussehra and Diwali.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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