SC allows less polluting crackers between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali

The top court had earlier said all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, needs to be taken into account while considering a plea for the ban.

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that there will not be a complete ban on the firecrackers and instead has opted to regulate their sales. The court in its order has put restrictions on the timings between which firecrackers can be burst on the occasion of festivals(Diwali).

Imposing a time frame of 8pm to 10pm for bursting firecrackers on Diwali, the top court banned manufacture and sale of all fire crackers except the ones that meet the noise and emission bans specified by the Centre are banned. It also put a blanket ban on online the online sale of fire crackers.

For New Year celebrations the time frame fixed by the SC is 11.55 pm to 12.30 am.

The top court had earlier said all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, needs to be taken into account while considering a plea for the ban.

It had asked the Centre to suggest measures to be taken to curb the pollution and the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.

Here are 10 thing that you should know:

1) On October 9 last year, the Supreme Court temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali.

2) The court refused to relax its order and dismissed a plea moved by traders. In wake of the temporary ban, the traders were seeking permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali last year.

3) The court had said that the limited ban on firecrackers during Diwali was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution levels.

4) In the past, the Supreme Court had said that while deciding on a ban on firecrackers, it is important to take into account all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people of the country.

5) The court had said that Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution applies to both segments of people (firecracker manufacturers and general public) and it needs to maintain a balance while considering a countrywide ban on firecrackers. For this, the court also asked the central government to suggest ways through which pollution can be curbed and what will be the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.

6) On August 8 this year, the court observed that a spike in PM 2.5 levels in the air is a severe problem as the particulate matter remains in people’s lungs, leading to serious health implications.

7) In their contention, firecrackers manufacturers had argued that the use of firecrackers should not be completely banned. They said their use should rather be strictly regulated.

8) On whether firecrackers are the main contributors to air pollution in the national capital and adjoining areas during winter, the manufacturers contended that crackers are not the reason for increase in air pollution. They said there are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it.

9) They have said the firecracker manufacturers can be deprived of their right to do business based on statements which were not supported by facts.

10) Every year during winter, the air quality in Delhi worsens to alarming levels, turning the city into a gas chamber. Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, along with firecrackers during Diwali, vehicular pollution and construction activities are the primary reasons for this.

India’s poor air quality causes over one million premature deaths every year, according to a joint report by two US-based health research institutes earlier this year. Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continued to be ‘very poor’ on Monday with an average reading of 318 of PM (particulate matter) 2.5 at 9 am, according to data of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).

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