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No entry of new firecrackers into Delhi-NCR: Supreme Court

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  • The Supreme Court lifted on Tuesday “for the time being” its order of suspending the permanent licences for sale and retail of firecrackers within the National Capital Region (NCR).

    The apex court, however, said its order lifting the suspension of permanent licences might require a review after Diwali, depending on the ambient air quality after the festival.

    A bench comprising Justices MB Lokur and Deepak Gupta asked the Centre and concerned authorities to consider encouraging display of fireworks through community participation rather than individual bursting of crackers. The top court appointed a committee, to be headed by the chairperson of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), to conduct a research on the impact of bursting firecrackers during the festive season of Dussehra and Diwali on the health of the people. The court also directed the Delhi Police to reduce the number of temporary licences by 50% of those granted last year and cap it at 500.

    “Keeping in mind the adverse effects of air pollution, the human right to breathe clean air and the human right to health, the Central Government and other authorities should consider encouraging display of fireworks through community participation rather than individual bursting of fireworks,” the bench said.

    The top court said the committee appointed by it would furnish a report of its research on or before December 31.

    The court said that since there were “enough fireworks available for sale in Delhi and the NCR, the transport of fireworks into Delhi and the NCR from outside the region is prohibited and the concerned law enforcement authorities will ensure that there is no further entry of fireworks into Delhi and the NCR till further orders.

    The bench directed the police authorities and district magistrates to ensure that fire crackers are not burst in “silence zones”, an area of at least 100 metres from hospitals, health care centres, educational institutions, courts and religious places or any other area that has been declared a ‘silence zone’ by the authorities.

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