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

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

The Supreme Court on Tuesday banned transportation of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR for Dussehra and Diwali, with an emphasis on "health of children should be of foremost concern in this regard".

The order pronounced by a Bench of Justice Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed that the health of the people in Delhi and NCR should be given paramount importance.

Summary: Diwali this year may be quieter and healthier in Delhi, given an order from the Supreme Court that is expected to pare down the availability of firecrackers. The court said as there were enough fireworks available for sale in Delhi and NCR, "the transport of fireworks into Delhi and NCR from outside the region is prohibited".

The court, by an interim order of November 11, 2016, had suspended all permanent licences for sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR.

It also said that no firecrackers would be allowed to enter Delhi and the NCR from other regions, and the Central government would ensure strict compliance with the 1992 notification on this.

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Though its primary concern was the human right to breathe good quality air, the court said after considering the material on record, it can not be said with certainty that the extreme poor air quality in Delhi in November-December a year ago was caused only by the bursting of crackers during the festivals.

This would include members from the National Physical Laboratory at Delhi, Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences at Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur, scientists from state Pollution Control Boards, Fire Development and Research Centres at Sivakasi and Nagpur, and National Environment Engineering Research Institute at Delhi.

This year SC passed an order to the Delhi police, to reduce the number of temporary licenses by 50 percent of those permitted in last year and the number licenses should not exceed by 500.

It also directed the police authorities and the District Magistrates to ensure that crackers are not burst in silence zones and has asked the Department of Education to formulate an action plan in 15 days with a view to sensitizing school children on the health hazards of pollution. The bench also noted that there was no response from the states within the NCR, which gave the impression that air pollution was not a problem for them despite the ill-effects and health hazards of bursting fireworks. So, the Court bans the fire crackers sellers licenses in the previous year.