New Delhi bans fireworks for Diwali to combat chronic pollution

Supreme Court order on firecracker ban expected Monday

Diwali falls on October 19."Yesterday (Monday), the Supreme Court gave its decision that there should not be firecracker shops in residential areas. As my company is headquartered in Rajkot (Gujarat), am I not out of the purview of the cracker sale ban?"

The traders told the apex court that their licences were revived in pursuance of the apex court's order passed in September 12 and they procured firecrackers for sale during Diwali.

Delhi's air quality index spike up to 42 times the safe limit. The Bench referred to an order by the high court past year, when another Bench of the court had directed civic bodies in the state to inspect and re-verify licences issued in every ward for selling firecrackers ahead of Diwali, and to ensure that safety measures were in put in place to avoid accidents.

Even as the Supreme Court ordered a complete ban on sale of fireworks this Diwali on the ground, it may have forgotten to net the virtual shopping world to this end.

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Arguing against the September 2017 order, advocate Gopal Sankarnarayan said: "It is farcical for the top court to ban fireworks after Diwali, but to restore it before the next Diwali". Ankit Jain, another portal owner, said, "One can anyway purchase from, say Meerut, and burst crackers here, the ban is not watertight".

The Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice AK Sikri, said that the November 11, 2016 order suspending the licences "should be given one chance to test itself" to see if there would be a positive effect of this, particularly during Diwali.

Appearing for the petitioner Arjun Gopal, Sankarnarayan submitted that extensive use of firecrackers was one of the reasons for the rise in air pollution during Diwali past year.

Firecrackers were not the main culprit resulting in the exponential rise of air pollution, the counsels submitted. The petition had stated: "Our lungs have not yet fully developed and we can not take further pollution through the bursting of crackers".

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