The Supreme Court has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare within six weeks an inventory of the existing firecrackers with traders in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The exercise has been necessitated as the apex court has already banned selling and stockpiling of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR. A bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and S K Kaul asked CPCB to furnish the details in consultation with Delhi, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan governments.
“The exercise of making the complete inventory with the licensees should be completed within six weeks,” the bench said. The order came after the counsel appearing for CPCB said that assistance of Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO) would be needed for the purpose and sought more time. The bench then said, “Assistance of PESO may also be taken to identify firecrackers that may be dangerous for the health of the people and environment as well as with respect to the chemical composition.”
The bench has now posted the matter for hearing after summer vacations on July 7. The top court had earlier extended its ban on selling and stockpiling of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR and refused to modify its order of suspension of licences of traders dealing in such explosive material. The bench was hearing a plea of traders who had sought permission to dispose of their existing stock of firecrackers by selling it outside Delhi-NCR.
The court, however, had directed CPCB to prepare an inventory of existing firecrackers with the traders and suggest measures for their disposal. It had asked CPCB to upload the prescribed limit of chemical composition of commonly used firecrackers on its websites. The board was asked by the apex court in its order on November 11 last year to study and prepare a report on the harmful effects of the materials which are currently being used in the manufacture of fireworks.
The apex court had on November 11 last year directed the Centre to suspend all such licences as permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR and said that the suspension shall remain in force till further orders of the court. It had also directed that no such licences shall be granted or renewed till further orders.