Air pollution from fire crackers: Supreme Court pulls up Delhi govt

Air pollution from fire crackers: Supreme Court pulls up Delhi govt

Air pollution from fire crackers: Supreme Court pulls up Delhi govt

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.

The court urged the Delhi government and other authorities to consider encouraging fireworks display through community participation rather than individual bursting of fireworks.

Also, on the matter of a ban of firecrackers, apex court called a committee chaired by the chairperson of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

According to reliable sources, changing its order in November 2016 order that suspended all the licenses granting permission for the sale of crackers in wholesale and temporary in Delhi. It had also observed that as per reports, 30 percent children in Delhi were asthmatic and steps needed to be taken all fronts.

"The suspension of permanent licences, as directed by the November 11 order, is lifted for the time being". It had banned the grant or renewal of firecracker licences after various petitions had sought ban on use of fireworks during Diwali due to worse air quality.

"No specific plan of action has been laid down by the Government of NCT of Delhi to make children aware of the hazards of bursting fireworks and the existing awareness campaigns have been allowed to drift over the last one year", it said, adding "there is no information on the success or failure of these campaigns".

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However, it passed various directions for regulating temporary licences.

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.

"...a complete ban on the sale of fireworks would be an extreme step that might not be fully warranted by the facts available to us".

It said these authorities need to realise their responsibility regarding the care and protection of health of the people in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR) and the importance of launching a sustained campaign to reduce air pollution to manageable limits during and after Diwali. It also directed the government authorities to ensure that fireworks are not burst in silence zones and also restricted the Delhi Police not to grant temporary licenses to more than 500 shopkeepers.

Lifting the suspension, Justice Lokur, speaking for the bench, said: "In our considered opinion, continuing the suspension of licences might be too radical a step to take for the present - a graded and balanced approach is necessary that will reduce and gradually eliminate air pollution in Delhi and in the NCR caused by the bursting of fireworks".

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