Rw Trending: Firecrackers Ban, The Supreme Court in an effort to check the alarming pollution level imposed a temporary ban on the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region during Diwali this year. This has been a blow to the traders and businessmen dealing in firecrackers. Owing to the positive environmental impacts perspective, Maharashtra Govt. also has decided upon a firecrackers ban in the residential areas. However, in Mumbai and other cities in Maharashtra, there’s no banning the sale and bursting them at large. Giving out the order, the apex court maintained that its last month’s order, which lifted the stay and permitted the sale of firecrackers, would come into effect only from November 1, 12 days after the ‘festival of lights’. The order assumes significance as the court observed that “the air quality deteriorates abysmally and alarmingly and the city chokes thereby” due to the adverse effects of the bursting of firecrackers.
A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri also observed that the November 11, 2016, order suspending the licenses “should be given one chance to test itself” to see if it actually has a positive effect, particularly during Diwali. Last year, the court had suspended all licenses permitting the sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR till further orders.
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In 2005, the SC had directed that there should be a complete firecrackers ban on bursting sound-emitting ones between 10 PM and 6 AM. A dense blanket of smog had engulfed the city after the night of fireworks on October 30 last year.
Traders Urge Government to File Review Petition on Firecrackers Ban
In the view of the latest development, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a traders’ body, called upon the government. They want the government to file a review petition before the Supreme Court on its order banning the sale of firecrackers. Issuing a statement, the CAIT said conducting the business of firecrackers is a legitimate activity protected under the Constitution of India giving ‘Right to Work’.
“The Supreme Court has imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR but there is no ban on the bursting of crackers. A possibility of people buying crackers from other states and bursting them in Delhi-NCR cannot be ruled out. The distinction between Delhi traders and traders from the rest of India seems to be unjustified,” CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.
Experts welcome Supreme Court’s order on Firecrackers Ban
Welcoming the Supreme Court’s order, experts said an unrelenting focus on tackling the menace is the need of the hour. “It is a welcome move. The air of Delhi is any way saturated with pollutants at this time of the season as paddy stubble burning starts and temperature drops. Diwali fireworks only compound the problem,” Bhure Lal, chairman, Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) said. Greenpeace India also joined the bandwagon in welcoming the SC decision.
The decision to put a temporary ban on the sale of firecrackers elicited angry reactions from shopkeepers, who were expecting to cash in on during the festive season. According to shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar and Jama Masjid, their Diwali will go up in smoke with losses running into crores.
“All dealers across NCR have been affected. The ban was imposed in 2016 last year and was lifted temporarily around 20 days back. Now, what will we do with the old stock? Crackers worth crores will go waste,” said Amit Jain, who sells firecrackers in Jama Masjid.
“Ban nuclear weapons, not crackers,” said one shopkeeper in Sadar Bazar.
(Inputs by Gehna Kundra)