Supreme Court refuses to relax ban on crackers during Diwali

Supreme Court refuses to relax ban on crackers during Diwali

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to modify its earlier order on firecrackers' sale in Delhi-NCR. It had said the 2016 order was passed by the court in view of the alarming pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR that had arisen after last Diwali.

Lawyer Deepak Chauhan, representing trader Rajesh Kalia and several others, said that a huge amount of money has been invested by them after their licences were revived and the recent order of the apex court would cause huge losses to them. The city of more than 20 million people struggled with its worst air pollution for two decades, shrouded in smoke from millions of fireworks lit during the festival, burning of crop residue in neighbouring states before winter, vehicle exhaust and construction dust.The court then banned the sale of firecrackers, but relaxed the restrictions on September 12 this year after a plea from fireworks manufacturers.

Dismissing the applications for modification and recall of the October order, the court said it would be open to holders of temporary licences to seek their renewal and the request could be considered by police authorities. "They can burn them from 6 pm to 10 pm on October 19", he said. "We have also directed the people not to use firecrackers within the radius of 500 meters from Indane bottling plant situated in Badshahpur and 100 meters away from fuel stations", Singh said. Such an exposure to chemicals is very risky.

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The Bombay High Court also followed the suit a day later and banned the sale of firecrackers in residential areas of Maharashtra. "Do not politicise or give a communal angle to the ban", the court said. "Anyhow, it is not going to be a cracker-free Diwali", the court observed.

WBPCB chairman Kalyan Rudra said the board was working in tandem with law enforcing agencies in the state to prevent illegal firecrackers from entering the market. "Our teams are on the vigil", Rudra told PTI.

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