India’s Apex Court on Tuesday refused to impose a blanket ban on bursting crackers and allowed use of firecrackers within permitted decibel limits and emission norms.
In what could be best described as a relief for festival revelers but discomfort to environment lovers.
The verdict from the Supreme Court of India assumes significance as it came just two weeks ahead of the festival of lights “Diwali’’, one of the biggest festivals celebrated across India with much revelry.
The court verdict came in response to a plea seeking a ban on manufacturing and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution.
Bursting of crackers forms an integral part of the festivities besides putting up colourful lights and exchanging of sweets among friends, relatives and neighbours.
In its order the court banned the online sale of firecrackers and put a stay on e-commerce portals from selling them.
It said only “low polluting’’ green crackers which are within permitted decibel limits and emission norms will be allowed.
The court said only “green firecrackers’’ (which are less polluting) will be allowed to be sold by authorised and licensed vendors.
Imposing timing restrictions on burning firecrackers on Diwali, the court said that people will be allowed to burn crackers between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Diwali.
Also, on New Year and Christmas the timing would be from 11:45 p.m. to 00:15 a.m.
Every year during the winter, the air quality in Delhi worsens to alarming levels, turning the city into a gas chamber.
Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, along with firecrackers during Diwali, vehicular pollution and construction activities are the primary reasons for this.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded the overall air quality index (AQI) of Delhi at 272 on Monday evening.
An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered “good’’, 51 and 100 “satisfactory’’, 101 and 200“moderate’’, 201 and 300 “poor’’, 301 and 400 “very poor, and 401 and 500 “severe’’. (Xinhua/NAN)
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