The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will examine if there should be a total or “reasonable” ban on the use of firecrackers, reported PTI. Hearing a petition by firecracker manufacturers, the top court observed that air pollution reaches hazardous proportions during Diwali.
“Are we supposed to take a holistic approach and ban everything that contributes to pollution or take an ad-hoc approach and simply ban firecrackers?” the bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked. The court will hear the matter again on August 8.
The court pointed out that air pollution was a major threat to children, and burning of crackers increases the toxicity in the air. Around 20%-25% of children in Delhi suffer from respiratory problems due to abnormally high levels of pollution during Diwali, said the bench. “The lungs of most infants in Delhi are grey,” the bench said, according to IANS.
To this, senior advocate CA Sundaram, appearing for the petitioner, said studies have shown that the effect of the ban on crackers has been limited. Sundaram said there should be a scientific study on the matter.
In 2017, the Supreme Court banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region for a limited period. The bench had said it wanted to use the ban to assess the difference in air quality in the highly-polluted region. However, a month before this, the bench had said that a complete ban would be “extreme” and stressed the need for a phased reduction in the use of fire crackers.