Wednesday March 20, 2019
Home India Indian Suprem...

Indian Supreme Court Allows Only Green Firecrackers

The court said it adopeted a balanced approach providing a reasonable and adequate solution.

0
//
Fireworks, environmentalists
SC permits bursting of only green firecrackers. Pixabay

Refusing to impose a blanket ban on bursting of firecrackers, the Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the use of only green firecrackers with reduced emission and decibel levels during all religious festivals.

In its verdict on a petition filed on behalf of three infants, a bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan specified that on Diwali, firecrackers could be burst only between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The bench also provided that firecrackers would be allowed between 11.55 p.m. and 12.30 a.m. on Christmas and New Year while banning the bursting of firecrackers not conforming to the green norms. The ban would be in force throughout the year. These conditions would also be applicable to marriage festivities.

Firecrackers
People using Firecrackers to celebrate Diwali,. Flickr

The court also prohibited the manufacture, sale and use of joined firecrackers (series crackers or ‘laris’) and specified that e-commerce websites should not accept any online orders and effect online sales.

“Any such e-commerce companies found selling crackers online will be hauled up for contempt of court and the court may also pass orders of monetary penalties,” it said.

The court said that authorities in Delhi would identify common community areas for the bursting of firecrackers and ensure awareness among people about it. It also recommended that other states should also explore the feasibility of community firecracking.

The court directed police station chiefs to be personally responsible for ensuring the compliance of its order.

Firecrackers
Delhi’s air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons

The bench asked the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to review the clinical composition of fireworks, particularly for reducing the aluminium content and submit its report within two weeks.

PESO is the nodal organisation to look after safety requirements in manufacture, storage, transport and use of explosives and petroleum.

The bench asked the PESO to ensure that only fireworks with permitted chemicals are sold and possessed during Diwali and other religious festivals as well as occasions such as marriages.

PESO has also been asked to test and check for the presence of banned chemicals like lithium, arsenic, antimony, lead and mercury and ensure suspension of the licenses of manufacturers of such fireworks items and appropriate disposal of such stock.

Firecrackers
The court also prohibited the manufacture, sale and use of joined firecrackers.

The court also asked the Centre and state governments as well as educational institutions to carry out extensive public awareness campaigns about the harmful effects of firecrackers.

The bench asked the Central and State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees to carry out short-term monitoring for 14 days before and after Diwali for parameters like aluminium, barium, iron apart from the regulatory parameters.

“This will help in generation of data on pollution caused by the bursting of firecrackers and would be helpful for regulation and control quantity of aluminium, barium and iron used in the manufacture of firecrackers,” it said.

Firecrackers
The ban would be in force throughout the year. These conditions would also be applicable to marriage festivities. Pixabay

The court said it adopeted a balanced approach providing a reasonable and adequate solution.

“When the picture becomes clearer after the requisite studies/research, more stringent measures can be adopted in future if the situation so warrants,” said the bench.

While the Central Pollution Control Board described the order as a “balanced one”, lawyers pressing for a complete ban on firecrackers said the court order would be difficult to implement for practical reasons.

Also Read: Maa Durga And Cosmic Divinity

Filed on behalf of two six-month old and one fourteen-month old infant, the petition pleaded for banning the use of firecrackers, sparklers and minor explosives, in any form, during festivals or otherwise. (IANS)

Next Story

Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

0
water
Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

water
Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

water
Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)