SC modifies order on firecracker sale in Delhi-NCR

Ban on firecrackers lifted by Supreme Court in Delhi-NCR

The bench also noted that there was no response from the states within the NCR, which gave the impression that air pollution was not a problem for them despite the ill-effects and health hazards of bursting fireworks. The order is an interim arrangement as the Bench set up a Committee headed by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) chairman to study the harmful effects of firecrackers on human health and submit a report by December 31. As we already mentioned, in 2016 Supreme court banned the sale of crackers in Delhi-NCR region.

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 court also directed the Delhi Police to reduce the number of temporary licence by 50 per cent of those granted past year and cap it at 500.

"No specific plan of action has been laid down by the Government of NCT of Delhi to make children aware of the hazards of bursting fireworks and the existing awareness campaigns have been allowed to drift over the last one year", it said, adding "there is no information on the success or failure of these campaigns". "The area of distribution of the temporary licences is entirely for the authorities to decide", the bench said. At this time, Supreme Court has revoked the suspension of permanent licenses of Fire Crackers sellers. It had banned the grant or renewal of firecracker licences after various petitions had sought ban on use of fireworks during Diwali due to worse air quality.

The order came after Sivakasi fireworks manufacturers challenged the 2016 ban on the grounds that it had affected 821 fireworks industries and snatched livelihood of five lakh employees. Consequently, a complete ban on the sale of fireworks would be an extreme step that might not be fully warranted by the facts available to us.

Putting a ceiling of 5,000 ton on the sale of explosives in Delhi, the court in its order said no firecrackers would be allowed to enter Delhi and the NCR from other regions.

The Supreme Court has also prohibited the transport of fireworks into Delhi and NCR from outside the region. The number of temporary licence should be capped at 500.

It has also asked the police to ensure that a 100-meter "silent zone" is observed around hospitals, courts, educational institutions and religious places.

"In our opinion, even 50,00,000 kg of fireworks is far more than enough for Dussehra and Diwali in 2017." . Similarly, the States in the NCR are restrained from granting more than 50% of the number of temporary licences granted in 2016.

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