Supreme Court banned sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1.
While doing so, a bench headed by justice A.K. Sikri reimposed its earlier order of November 2016 that had suspended sale of firecrackers.
India's top court on Monday imposed a ban on the sale of fireworks in the capital city and its adjoining areas especially the National Capital Region (NCR) until October 31, officials said.
In its latest order, the apex court said that its September 12 order will be effective from November 1.
Last November, about a million children were forced to stay home from school, thousands of workers reported sick and queues formed outside shops selling face masks as New Delhi struggled with its worst pollution for almost 20 years. The court today said it wants to test the effect of banning firecrackers on air quality after Diwali, the festival of lights which is celebrated by millions across India by bursting crackers and lighting lamps. "This (decision) will play a crucial role in regulating air pollution in the region and reduce the impact on human health", said Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI.
He asked whether people who support ban on Diwali crackers will also fight for ban on tradition of sacrificing animal on certain festivals like Bakr-Eid. She said, "So what that it's sale is banned, I will still celebrate it by the use of paper bombs". Remember the pictures of smog-filled Delhi air after Diwali celebrations a year ago? The petition was backed by the Central Pollution Control Board.
Diwali festivities leave the city and adjacent areas engulfed by a toxic cloud of smoke and hazardous levels of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) that pose the greatest threat to lungs.
Impact: While the sale of firecrackers will directly impact traders, it is to be seen if there will be a significant change in air quality around Diwali this year.
"All temporary licenses to sell firecrackers stand canceled", said Haripriya Padmanabhan, a lawyer representing the group that sought the ban.