All states except Delhi and neighbouring areas can use existing stocks of firecrackers this Diwali, the Supreme Court said today. Delhi and neighbouring areas will have to stick to "green crackers" to keep the pollution levels in check.
The top court also allowed southern states and Puducherry to burst crackers for two hours in the day, between 4:30 and 6:30 am, during festivals. The Supreme Court modified its last week's order that restricted the use of "safe and green" firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali to tackle air pollution.
The directions on the ban on sale of firecrackers through e-commerce websites will apply across the country, the court said.
The Tamil Nadu government on Monday urged the Supreme Court to allow bursting of firecrackers on Diwali or Deepavali morning as per religious practices in the state, besides the already permitted period between 8 pm to 10 pm.
The petition had said the state should be given permission between 4.30 am to 6.30 am as well.
According to the petition, each state or sect has a separate set of beliefs and traditions as far as Deepavali celebrations are concerned and the top court's restriction would amount to "rejecting the people with their due religious rights and would subject the people of the state into much hardship"
Firecracker manufacturers told the Supreme Court that it was not possible to come up with "green crackers" this Diwali since there was no set composition for manufacturing them.
The court observed that the direction for permitting the use of "green crackers" was meant for Delhi and the National Capital Region and does not apply to the rest of the country.