The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre’s response to a petition seeking a series of steps to curb air pollution, including ban on sale, possession and bursting of firecrackers across the country. A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan also issued notices to some states, including Delhi, seeking their replies to the plea which has raised the issue of evolving a solution for crop burning, which is a major source of air pollution in the Delhi-national capital region (NCR).
The court asked the Centre and states to file their responses in four weeks. Besides seeking a ban on firecrackers across the country, the petition, filed through advocate Gopal Shankarnarayanan, has sought directions for environment-friendly, cleaner fuels and implementation of regulations on dust from construction activities.
The apex court had on October 9 said that no firecrackers would be sold in the Delhi-NCR during Diwali this year while banning its sale till November 1.
It had said that its earlier order, temporarily lifting the stay and permitting the sale of firecrackers, would be made effective only from November 1.
The apex court, in its October 9 order, had said the November 11, 2016 order suspending licences for sale of fireworks “should be given one chance to test itself” to see whether it had a positive effect, particularly during Diwali.
On September 12 this year, the top court had temporarily lifted its order suspending the permanent licences for sale of fire crackers in NCR, saying a complete ban would be an “extreme step” and a graded approach was needed to curb pollution caused by them.
The court, in its last year’s direction, had suspended all licenses which permits sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR till further orders.