On Monday, in an important announcement, the Supreme Court of India put a ban on the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) till October 31. A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri said the apex court’s 12 September order permitting the sale of firecrackers would be effective from 1 November.
Diwali is on 19 October and the order effectively means that no firecrackers will be available for purchase before the festival.
“Let’s try out at least one Diwali without firecrackers.”
The top court had temporarily lifted its earlier order suspending a licence for the sale of firecrackers, on September 12, saying a complete ban would be an “extreme step” and a graded approach was needed to curb pollution.
The top court also allowed the Delhi Police to issue a licence to shopkeepers for sale of firecrackers, adding that the number of licences issued should not exceed 500.
The top court also made it clear that there would be no firecrackers in the silence zones.
The court also directed to constitute a committee, which will be chaired by the Chairperson of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), consisting of eight other officers to submit a report on the same by December 31, 2017.
The committee was asked to submit a detailed report regarding the health hazards of firecrackers on people during the festive season, especially on Dussehra and Diwali.
Last year, on November 25, the apex court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR until further notice in wake of the alarming levels of air pollution in the region.