Firecrackers definitely contribute to air pollution, though they are not the only reason: Supreme Court

The Bench acknowledges that there is a necessity to tackle the other contributory factors for air pollution.

Updated - October 23, 2018 10:32 pm IST

Published - October 23, 2018 10:28 pm IST - NEW DELHI



Bursting of firecrackers during Deepavali may not be the only reason for air pollution, but the Supreme Court cannot become a mute spectator and allow the deterioration of air quality caused by the bursting during the festival.

This is how the Supreme Court’s judgment, declaring a ban on toxic and loud crackers, explained itself.

The Bench acknowledges that there is a necessity to tackle the other contributory factors for air pollution. Unregulated construction activity which generates a lot of dust and crop burning in the neighbouring States are the two other major reasons. Vehicular pollution is also another cause.

“But the moot question is whether the menace due to fireworks during Deepavali or other festivals/occasions should be left untouched… should the court allow the situation to prevail only because it is not the sole reason for causing air pollution? Answer has to be in the negative,” Justice Sikri held.

It held that “though bursting of crackers during Diwali is not the only reason for worsening air quality, at the same time, it definitely contributes to air pollution in a significant way.”

It referred to studies by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to show that post-Diwali pollution was lesser in 2017, after the Supreme Court imposed some restrictions on sale and manufacture of crackers, than in 2016.

It said bursting of firecrackers has seen a substantial increase in PM 2.5 level, which is a “very serious health hazard.” The effects of severe noise pollution are not restricted to humans but also cause trauma to animals and birds.

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