The Delhi government and the centre have been told to hold consultations and frame a policy to regulate burning of Ravan effigies during Dussehra. A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and AK Chawla of the Delhi High Court issued the direction on a fresh plea filed by an autorickshaw driver seeking directions to the authorities to prevent large-scale burning of effigies in the national capital.
"You don't want the people to breath in the Ravan as well. You must regulate it. Else why 10,000 effigies... Come up with a regulation that you can have it only in a certain designated area of a specified size. There has to be some regulation," the court said.
The order to the Aam Aadmi Party government and the centre came after the petitioner, KK Rai, told the court that in his district, having an area larger than Delhi, only one Ravan effigy was burnt, but in the national capital more than 10,000 are set on fire every year.
The court then told both the Delhi government and the centre to file affidavits before the next date of hearing on November 22, indicating the steps taken by them to come out with the policy.
The bench directed framing of the regulations to be implemented before next year's Dussehra as it was too late to do anything this year.
The central government, represented by its counsel Ajay Digpaul, told the court it was taking steps like introducing a scheme to reduce crop-burning and shutting down the Badarpur thermal power plant to bring down pollution levels.
Mr Digpaul placed before the bench a brief note which claimed that there has been a reduction in PM2.5 and PM10 levels due to the steps taken by the centre. PM 2.5 and PM 10 are ultrafine particulate matter having the ability to enter the respiratory system and subsequently the bloodstream of humans and animals, causing harm.
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