Delhites and NCRites can breathe some good air as the Supreme Court has banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. Rising pollution and alarmingly bad air quality forced the court to take this action.
The court also said that there won’t be any restriction on bursting firecrackers due to difficulty in implementation and monitoring. The three-judge bench headed by CJI, T. S. Thakur passed this historical judgment.
From today onwards, the existing licenses will be suspended and new licenses will not be issued to any seller in Delhi-NCR. The Supreme Court also asked the Central Pollution Control Board to study the harmful effects of the materials used in firecrackers and submit its report in three months.
Environment activists were looking forward for such court’s intervention. There has been a considerable increase in level of pollution in the national capital region. Due to rising air pollution in Delhi, LG Jung had already banned uses of firecrackers, except at religion functions.
Delhi CM Kejriwal termed the city as a “gas chamber” and held neighboring states’ stubble burning as responsible.
This year, Diwali firecrackers pushed pollution level in Delhi to a dangerous level, worst in three years. Delhi engulfed in toxic smog for many weeks after Diwali. That was referred as the worst in 17 years.
It is worth noting that the Supreme Court had rejected a plea to ban firecrackers during Diwali in 2015. It pulled up the Centre for failing to spread awareness.
Delhi Pollution Control Committee said that on “Diwali night, PM 10 ranged from 448 (micrograms per cubic metre) g/m3 to 939 g/m3 in Delhi as against the national safe standard of 100 g/m3.”
The court said that the sale remains banned until further orders. Gopal Sankaranarayanan, the lawyer for the petitioners and Co founder of Care for Air said that “The court order means no one can sell or stock firecrackers.”