No sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR this Diwali, rules SC

Diwali: Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR

Diwali: Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR

There will be no firecrackers available for purchase this Diwali as the Supreme Court upheld its earlier verdict banning sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region.

Acting on a petition, the Supreme Court directed that all licences to sell firecrackers in New Delhi and neighbouring cities be suspended until October 31.

These two data together suggest that the pollution caused by Diwali is extremely short-lived (less than 24 hrs), and is no worse than the usual sporadic spikes of pollutants that are observed in Delhi around the year.

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In India setting off fireworks on festivals is synonymous with celebrations and families spend lavishly to buy fire crackers and then set it off during marriages and Diwali night. In fact, according to a report in The Hindu, during Diwali night past year, the city's air pollution levels were 14-16 times beyond the safe limits.

This very situation, the court said, had occurred on the very next morning after Diwali in the year 2016 and "resulted in passing the order dated November 11, 2016".

"All temporary and permanent licences in Delhi to sell firecrackers will stand cancelled forthwith". Remember the pictures of smog-filled Delhi air after Diwali celebrations previous year?

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Since bringing crackers in from surrounding areas and bursting them in NCR is still a possibility, the issue is sure to come up again before the court.

"According to Hindu belief, the sound of fireworks and crackers are an indication of the joy of the people living on earth and making gods aware of their plentiful state".

Last week, levels of lung-clogging particulate matter known as PM2.5 were 17 times higher than what is deemed safe by the World Health Organisation. "Therefore, a ban on fireworks and crackers would be against Hindu belief and mythology", said the petitioner. She said, "So what that it's sale is banned, I will still celebrate it by the use of paper bombs".

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"Let's try out at least one Diwali without firecrackers", the top court observed on Monday, suspending the sale of firecrackers in the region.

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