SC bans sale of firecrackers in Delhi NCR ahead of Diwali
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a complete ban on sale of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) ahead of the upcoming festival of Diwali.
The ban would remain in effect until 31 October and any further orders would be passed based on assessment of the situation that would emerge after Diwali.
In order to bring this into effect, a bench headed by justice A.K. Sikri also held that any temporary licences issued by the police to firecracker manufacturers would remain suspended for the same time period.
The court passed this order reimposing its earlier order of 11 November 2016 suspending sale of firecrackers so as to test the suspension order and ascertain its positive effect on the air quality of the NCR region, particularly during the Diwali period.
The order of 11 November 2016, suspending licences for sale of firecrackers was operative until the next year but its impact had not been tested during the Diwali period.
On 12 September, a bench comprising justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta partially lifted the ban order of November suspending permanent licences in NCR. This order has been upheld by the court in its entirety but would be effective post Diwali.
Under the order, the court had asked traders to utilize their existing stocks and not sell fresh stock. It had also cut temporary licences of the states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh by 50%. Temporary licences in Delhi were capped at 500.
The court was hearing a plea by three children—Arjun Gopal and two others—seeking restoration of last year’s order banning sale of firecrackers in view of the worsening of air quality in NCR because of extensive use of firecrackers during Diwali.
An analysis by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which is India’s nodal pollution watchdog, of the ambient air and noise pollution in Delhi after Diwali last year said that the PM10 levels was found to have increased in all places in the city as compared to 2015.
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