The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that only green firecrackers will be sold in the National Capital Region this festival season, PTI reported. Other kinds of firecrackers, if already procured, can be sold only outside the Delhi-NCR, a bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said.
The court’s clarification, however, came a day after Union Minister for Environment and Forest Harsh Vardhan admitted that “green firecrackers” would not be available this festival season. Green crackers cause minimal toxicity and minimal fumes, according to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
The Supreme Court on October 23 had ruled that only eco-friendly fireworks would be allowed between 8 pm and 10 pm on religious festivals such as Diwali. Soon after, firecracker manufacturers moved the court, saying that “there was no such thing” as eco-friendly fireworks.
In Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and other southern states, firecrackers can be burst between 4 am and 5 am, and then again between 9 pm and 10 pm, the court said on Wednesday. It had said on Tuesday that it will modify its October 23 order after the Tamil Nadu government approached it. The state had requested the court to allow the bursting of firecrackers between 4.30 am and 6.30 am on Diwali. A few states celebrate the festival in the morning.
The top court had also suggested that governments promote community cracker-bursting and notify open areas or fields for this purpose so that people do not burst fireworks right outside their homes. On Wednesday, the court clarified that this will apply across the country.
Similarly, its ban on the online sale of firecrackers will apply across the country, it said.