Concerned over the rise in pollution level around Diwali, the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR till October 31. "This order prevailed during the year but the impact and effect of this order remains to be tested on Diwali days", the Bench, also comprising Justices A M Sapre and Ashok Bhushan, said. The judgement came after a plea to restore the Supreme Court verdict in 2016 verdict banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. With the SC banning the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR till November 1, can Delhiites breathe a sigh of relief? According to Supreme Court, Diwali is celebrated across India by bursting crackers, leaving the national capital in smoke and pollution.
Reacting to the top court's order, renowned author and television personality Chetan Bhagat said: "Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid".
Each year, the level of air pollution keeps increasing due to various reasons, crackers being one of them. People purchased firecrackers like anything and burst them till early morning the next day of Diwali , As Reported By Hindustan Times.
"All temporary and permanent licences in Delhi to sell firecrackers will stand cancelled forthwith".
It has also directed the Delhi Police to reduce the number of temporary licences by 50 per cent of previous year and cap it to 500.
While firecrackers are not the only factor, last year the Delhi-NCR region saw alarming levels of air pollution towards the end of the year.
The report adds that the average year-round air pollutant levels in Delhi were more than five times the safe levels specified by India and 10 times higher than the limits specified by WHO. Possibility of people buying crackers from other States & bursting in Delhi NCR can not be ruled out and in such case Delhi traders will be in disadvantageous position and will loose business to their counterparts in other States.
Last month, the court temporarily suspended the ban and allowed the sale of crackers, saying a complete ban would be an "extreme step" and a "graded approach" was needed to tackle pollution. She said, "So what that it's sale is banned, I will still celebrate it by the use of paper bombs".
"The court will take further decision, taking into account the impact on air quality during this period", petitioner's lawyer said. Which means that this year Delhiites will have to stay prepared for a firecracker-free Diwali.