People in the country can burst firecrackers from 8 PM to 10 PM only on Diwali and other festivals, the Supreme Court (SC) said on Tuesday, allowing manufacture and sale of just the "green crackers" which have low emission of light, sound and harmful chemicals.
The top court carved out an exception for the Christmas and the New Year eve saying that crackers for these occasions would be burst between 11.55 PM and 12.30 AM, since these celebrations start at midnight.
The apex court said the noise and smoke emission limits of the crackers will have to be approved by the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO), under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
To curb pollution in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), it directed the centre, the Delhi government and state governments of NCR to permit community fire-cracking (for Diwali and other festivals), wherever it could be done.
So, can the Supreme Court order now be effectively enforced by central and state governments. Shereen Bhan discusses the issue with Vinod L Tikani, member of Fireworks Dealer Association; Saurabh Bhasin Partner at Trilegal and Vikram Singh, former DGP, Uttar Pradesh.
Bhasin said, "My understanding is that a lot of the fire crackers that are currently available in the market are not in compliance with the requirements of the lower emission fire crackers that the SC has allowed. But, it's effectively for Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to go with police and ensure that no sale takes place of the existing stock that is there with the traders and merchants."
"So, it's exactly for that reason that we need the institution now to stand up and say yes, we will honour this judgement passed by the Supreme Court and get into action to start implementing it now. If you donâ€™t do it now, you will see very soon there will be mass dumping of the offending products and then it will be too late to do anything about it."
Tikani, said, "The industry is already complying with the SC order of decibel level and the suggestions given are to the point of view of the manufacturers. The traders are happy as there is no blanket ban. Traders will be selling what they will be manufacturing. So, the point we were raising from the last year is the manufacturer should be put on some regulations or some restrictions and that has been taken care by SC and we welcome the judgement."