Life in Gurgaon

Supreme Court allows less polluting crackers between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali

Source: Hindustan Times

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The Supreme Court has allowed sale of firecrackers with conditions across the country, which has the world’s 14 most polluted cities, to curb air pollution ahead of Diwali on November 7.

The top court had earlier said all aspects, including the fundamental right of livelihood of firecracker manufacturers and the right to health of over 1.3 billion people in the country, needs to be taken into account while considering a plea for the ban.

It had asked the Centre to suggest measures to be taken to curb the pollution and the effect of firecrackers on the public at large.

Manufacturers earlier told the court that the use of firecrackers should not be completely banned and it should instead be strictly regulated. They said firecrackers are not the reason for the increase in air pollution and there are other factors, like wind and temperature, which contribute to it.

The top court had temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali on October 9 last year. It had later refused to relax its order while dismissing a plea by traders, who had sought permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19, 2017.

India’s poor air quality causes over one million premature deaths every year, according to a joint report by two US-based health research institutes earlier this year. Delhi’s Air Quality Index (AQI) continued to be ‘very poor’ on Monday with an average reading of 318 of PM (particulate matter) 2.5 at 9 am, according to data of System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR).