The Supreme Court said licenses for firecracker sale will be halved this year in Delhi, NCR.
Diwali this year may be quieter and healthier in Delhi, given an order from the Supreme Court that is expected to pare down the availability of firecrackers. In view of the recurring blanket of noxious fumes and the inevitable pollution-related illnesses people suffer after every Diwali, the top court halved the number of cracker sale licences to be given out across Delhi and National Capital Region, saying, "more than 50 lakh crackers should be enough".
In Delhi, a maximum of 500 licences will be given. No import of fire crackers from other states will be allowed, the top court said today in an interim order. The court said it would monitor the air quality in Delhi after Diwali and hear the case again.
The court also issued a stern warning to maintain a 100-meter "silent zone" around hospitals, courts, educational institutions and religious places and tasked the police with ensuring that this is followed.
The authorities should rope in schools and educate children on the "health hazards of breathing polluted air, including air that is polluted due to fireworks," the court said. "School children should be encouraged to reduce, if not eliminate, the bursting of fireworks as part of any festivities".
Last year, the Supreme Court had suspended the licences of all firecracker sellers in Delhi and the National Capital Region for a time, virtually banning sale and purchase. The order had come in response to a petition by three infants, all aged around one year, who appealed for a stop to the sale of firecrackers, saying their lungs had not been fully developed.
In its order, the court had said as per reports, 30 per cent children in Delhi were asthmatic and steps needed to be taken all fronts to ensure their well-being.