SC chides Delhi government for 'lethargic' drive against fireworks

Delhi-NCR

Supreme Court lifts ban on firecrackers in Delhi ahead of Diwali

The order pronounced by a Bench of Justice Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta observed that the health of the people in Delhi and NCR should be given paramount importance.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday took a dig at the Delhi government, saying that all its directions to create awareness on the hazards of bursting fireworks was "merely paperwork" and its awareness campaigns have been "allowed to drift" and become "lethargic" during the last one year.

The top court has halved the number of licenses to be issued across Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) and said: "more than 50 lakh crackers should be enough".

Past year on November 11, the apex court has ordered suspension of all licences permitting the sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within NCR till further orders.

The court has now opted for a gradual, graded approach to complete prohibition of the sale and use of fireworks in the NCR over the next few years.

According to reliable sources, changing its order in November 2016 order that suspended all the licenses granting permission for the sale of crackers in wholesale and temporary in Delhi.

The bench held that the residents of the NCT and NCR are entitled to breathe unpolluted air but there was no conclusive proof that extremely poor quality of air in Delhi in last winter was the result only of bursting fireworks around Diwali to justify the ban.

The order states that if the fireworks are not in conformity with the requirements as laid down in Rules 15 and 84 of the Explosives Rules, they must be prohibited from being sold. "The graded and balanced approach is not meant to dilute our primary concern which is and remains the health of everybody and the human right to breathe good quality air or at least not be compelled to breathe poor quality air", the court said.

Of Course, we all know that on Nov 25th, 2016 Supreme Court banned the sale of Firecrackers in Delhi, NCR.

The top court directed the Delhi Police to reduce grant of temporary licences by about 50 percent of those granted in 2016 and cap it at 500. Now on Tuesday Supreme court once again raised an issue over the entry of crackers in Delhi-NCR.

The court granted the CPCB time till September 30 to come out with definite standards regarding the use of metals or other ingredients of fireworks and made "absolute" its July 31 order prohibiting use of "compounds of antimony, lithium, mercury, arsenic and lead in manufacture of fireworks". "The health of children should be of foremost concern in this regard", it said.

Also, on the matter of a ban of firecrackers, apex court called a committee chaired by the chairperson of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

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