The Bombay High Court on Monday said shops storing firecrackers should not be set up in residential areas and directed civic bodies in Maharashtra to ensure strict compliance of rules related to keeping of these small explosive devices to avoid any mishap. Expressing concern over incidents of explosions in factories and shops where firecrackers are made and stored, a division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade noted each year these sound and light producing items are burst not just during Diwali but also during other festivities.
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“It is a common knowledge that there is a large demand for firecrackers. There is nothing wrong with businessmen taking advantage of this demand and taking efforts to supply firecrackers. However, they have to ensure safety regulations are strictly adhered to while storing the same,” it said.
The high court made the observation while hearing a petition raising issues concerning sale and storage of firecrackers in residential areas without following rules and regulations.
“Shops where firecrackers are stored should not be located in residential areas. Ideally, such shops should be located in open spaces so damage in case of some untoward incident is minimal and it becomes easier for monitoring.”
Giving examples of the blaze at a Make in India event in Chowpatty, south Mumbai in February and Kollam fire tragedy in Kerala in April, Justice Kanade said, “It is unfortunate that in India we become active only when some incident occurs. Once the frenzy around the incident is over all work stops. We should learn from our mistakes and become wise.”
The high court, however, noted that while earlier there was craze for firecrackers, the younger generation now has started shunning them because of awareness about pollution and safety hazards.
The bench directed civic bodies in the state to file compliance report on implementation of firecracker storage rules and posted the petition for further hearing on October 25.