No blanket ban on crackers, SC allows ‘green crackers’ between 8-10pm on Diwali

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to impose a blanket ban on sale of firecrackers. It permitted only “green firecrackers” with reduced emission and decibel levels to be sold through license holders.

The SC, to curb the rising pollution, restricted the timing of bursting of firecrackers on Diwali to a window of two hours between 8pm and 10pm. It also fixed timings for bursting firecrackers on Christmas and New Year from 11:55 pm to 12:30 am. Also, no crackers are allowed during the day.

The SC further noted that no e-commerce websites will be allowed to sell crackers online.

The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) is ordered to give clearances only if the crackers comply with court order. Crackers sold are required to meet the prescribed sound level limits. Station house officers of police station will be held liable if banned firecrackers are sold in their area.

The SC has directed Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to monitor air quality 7 days before and 7 days after Diwali. Further, the CPCB will designate specific community areas in Delhi-NCR where bursting of crackers will be allowed.

The judgement came on a petition which called for a countrywide ban on firecrackers citing its harmful effects on public health and environment.

According to a report, world’s top ten most polluted cities are in India. Another report by two US-based health research institutes say that over one million premature deaths occur every year owing to India’s poor air quality. The government needs to take steps to prevent the extreme level of pollution during festivals and functions. The SC also called for an extensive public awareness campaign by the government.

Earlier the SC opposed a blanket ban on firecrackers citing the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers however it noted that the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country will be taken into account while considering a plea.

 

Saurabh Chopra

With a blend of vivid areas of interest, Saurabh is a passionate reader and a news writer. He is always enthusiastic and proactive in finding the latest in his fields of interest. Saurabh is also a keen observer in the economic and business pits and falls.

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