Amid firecracker ban, traders look to sell via online portals

Amid firecracker ban, traders look to sell via online portals

Amid firecracker ban, traders look to sell via online portals

The Supreme Court's ban over sale of firecrackers in New Delhi until November 1 has sharply divided citizens of the national capital. Sample, for instance, a 2014 World Health Organization study of 1,600 cities across 91 countries that found New Delhi the worst performing city globally in regard to ambient air quality. This is often blamed on burning of unwanted vegetation on farms in neighbouring states, usual at this time of year, worsened by fumes from fireworks. Consequently, in November previous year, the Apex court banned the sale of firecrackers in NCR region.

"All temporary licenses to sell firecrackers stand cancelled", said Haripriya Padmanabhan, a lawyer representing the group that sought the ban. Advocate Gopal Shankarnarayan argued that while there are many factors leading up to this state of pollution, firecrackers is one of them, while the other side argued that the same points were being considered when the ban was lifted a month ago and it was done so keeping all the parties who are involved, including the traders and the pollution board, in mind. "Hopefully they won't do that", she told Asian News International, a partner of Reuters Television.

Diwali falls on October 19 this year and the ban would mean that no firecrackers will be available for purchase in a period before or after the festival.

The government welcomed the move, with Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan requesting people to abide by the order.

"We Indians will protest and burn crackers", wrote one Twitter user, Ishkaran Bhandari.

India has made a decision to ban the sales of firecrackers in parts of the country in the run-up to Diwali, the festival of light that is held annually in the capital region, as recent celebrations have led to concentrations of air pollutants almost 17 times above the safe limit. "We will uphold our culture, traditions and celebrate Diwali".

India and China together account for more than half of the 4.2 million deaths attributable to air pollution worldwide in 2015, a study by the US -based Health Effects Institute (HEI) showed. Surprisingly then, the SC, this week, reversed its September order while hearing a petition filed by three children who contested (via their fathers) that across India, over seven lakh people annually lose their lives to diseases that stem from harmful levels of air pollution. In fact, according to a report in The Hindu, during Diwali night a year ago, the city's air pollution levels were 14-16 times beyond the safe limits.

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