Supreme Court Ban on sale of firecrackers in New Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) till November 1. This means that Diwali, which will be celebrated on October 19, is likely to be firecracker-free and silent this year.
The step has been taken by the SC as it wanted to assess the impact of the ban on air quality.
While delivering the verdict, the bench headed by Justice AK Sikri said its November 2016 order on the same issue would continue to operate.
Last month, the court temporarily suspended the ban and allowed the sale of crackers, saying a complete ban would be an “extreme step”, and a “graded approach” was needed to tackle pollution. The ban will now go only after November 1.
Each year, Diwali festivities leave the air in Delhi thick with deadly smog and suspended particles, and residents complaining of breathlessness and lung difficulties.
Last Diwali, the pollution in Delhi was said to be dangerous and the worst in 10 years. After the festival, the Supreme Court, responding to a 2015 petition by three children aged between six years and 14 months, banned the sale of crackers.
“We are the most vulnerable category when it comes to air pollution, especially from suspended particles and toxins. We are foremost prone to lung disease, asthma, coughing, bronchitis, retarded development of the nervous system and cognitive impairment,” the children’s petition had argued, referring to the fundamental Right to Life.
Cracker manufacturers challenged the ban as a drastic step that would impact livelihoods, after which the Supreme Court paused the ban.
But the children went to the court again asking that the ban be restored. The court today agreed that a ban “should be given a chance”.