NEW DELHI: There will be no blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers this Diwali. The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a slew of directions to limit the impact on worsening air pollution. Only less polluting, green firecrackers sale will be allowed.
Green crackers are “reduced emission crackers”. According to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, firecrackers that cause 30-35% lower emission of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and 35-40% lower emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide are categorized as “green crackers”.
A ban on firecracker sale online will come into effect restraining e-commerce website from selling firecrackers through e-portals. The court has fixed time and duration for the bursting of firecrackers. For Diwali and other religious festivals, the bursting of firecrackers will be allowed between 8 pm and 10 pm. On Christmas and New Years, though, it will be allowed only between 11:55 pm to 12:45 am.
Only designated community areas in the Delhi NCR region identified by the Central Pollution Control Board will be allowed for the bursting of crackers.
Supreme Court verdict came on a petition filed in 2015 by three toddlers through their advocate fathers seeking to exercise their right to clean air as a part of their right to life. The petition has cited, “Our lungs have not yet fully developed and we cannot take further pollution by bursting crackers. Dr. Arvind Kumar, Chairman of Centre for chest surgery and lung transplantation at Sri Ganga Ram hospital who had endorsed the petitioner’s case in Court, had said, “After Diwali celebrations, pollution level was such that it was equivalent to smoking 50 cigarettes a day.”
Firecracker manufacturers had opposed the ban, as it would lead to economic hardship to many casual workers employed in the sector. A sizeable loss of revenue is also likely.