India’s top court bans firecracker sales before Diwali

India’s top court bans firecracker sales before Diwali

India’s top court ordered a temporary ban on the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi on Monday, ahead of the Diwali festival that leaves the city shrouded in toxic smog.

The decision comes a little over a week before Diwali – the Hindu festival of lights – when Delhi fills with acrid smoke from celebratory firecrackers set off day and night.

The onset of winter usually worsens the situation as cooler temperatures trap the pollutants, exacerbated by crop burning in neighbouring states.

Acting on a petition, the Supreme Court directed that all licences to sell firecrackers in New Delhi and neighbouring cities be suspended until October 31.

“The court has made it clear that all licences stand banned forthwith,” Haripriya Padmanabhan, one of the petitioners, told NDTV news network after the order.

India’s notoriously poor air quality causes over 1 million premature deaths every year, according to a joint report by two US-based health research institutes earlier this year.

A 2014 World Health Organization survey of more than 1,600 cities ranked Delhi as the most polluted.

At midday Monday, the US embassy showed the concentration of PM2.5 – the fine particles linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease – at an “unhealthy” level.

The top court had imposed a similar ban last November when Delhi’s air quality reached “hazardous” levels after Diwali, forcing schools to shut and a temporary ban on construction.

But the November order was briefly lifted last month, allowing residents to buy firecrackers ahead of Diwali, which falls on October 19 this year.

“I guess those people will end up bursting them, so it’s not a 100 percent victory,” Padmanabhan said.
[AFP]

Related Post

India state to give life sentences for cow slaughter
views 21
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat on Friday increased the punishment for cow slaughter from seven years to life imprisonment...
Bombs kill 11 in Afghanistan as Taliban, ISIS supporters clash
views 50
A suicide truck bomb attack and a separate roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan killed 11 people and wounded dozens more on Monday, as the Taliban...
North Korea asks UN to revoke human rights resolution
views 50
Seoul: North Korea has formally asked the UN to revoke its resolution on human rights in the country, arguing that it is based on "false testimonies" ...
Suicide bomber kills at least ten in northwest Pakistan
views 49
A suicide bomber blew himself up close to a police checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least ten people and wounding more than ...
22 believed killed in attack in China
views 29
BEIJING: At least 22 people have been killed in a violent attack in Bachu of the disturbed Kashgar area of Xinjiang, the US based Radio Free Asia said...

SHARE WHAT YOU THINK