The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MP Manoj Tiwari seeking to lift the ban on firecrackers in Delhi ahead of Diwali, reported NDTV.

“Spend your money on sweet,” the court said. “Let people breathe clean air.”

Last month, the Delhi government had imposed a ban on production, sale and use of firecrackers till January 1 to prevent the city’s air quality from worsening in winter.

The BJP MP had challenged the ban on October 10 but the Supreme Court had refused to entertain the plea stating that an order has already been passed.

“How can we allow firecrackers even if they are green crackers?” the court had said on October 10, according to India Today. “Have you seen the pollution of Delhi?”

The Delhi government had banned firecrackers between September and January last year as well to prevent air pollution.

Farmers from Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh burn the residue of their paddy harvest during this season since it is a cost-effective and time-saving measure to prepare the fields for the next sowing cycle. However, this practice results in increased levels of air pollution in large areas of North India.

Lower temperatures, wind speeds, and other factors such as industrial pollution add to the problem. Often, the Air Quality Index drops around Diwali, when firecrackers are burst.

Due to this, Delhi has been ranked as one of the most polluted cities in the world. In 2020, New Delhi’s average annual concentration of PM2.5 – particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres – per cubic meter of air was 84.1, a study said, making it the 10th most polluted city in the world.

Despite the ban on firecrackers, Delhi’s air quality index in November last year was the worst since 2015.

Also read:

Air pollution reduces average life expectancy in India by five years, says study