'Aren't Cars Worse?' SC Rethinks Ban on Firecrackers, Says People Can't be Rendered Jobless
The top court had last year put nationwide curbs on bursting of firecrackers. It had also imposed severe restrictions on manufacturing and sale of crackers, making it clear that only green crackers and improved crackers will be manufactured henceforth.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why everyone was after a ban on firecrackers when automobiles could be the leading cause of pollution in India. A bench headed by Justice SA Bobde observed that targeting only firecrackers may not be enough when automobiles may lead the menace.
"Why everyone is after firecrackers when automobiles are major pollutants? Why everyone is seeking a ban only on firecrackers?" asked the bench during a hearing on a bunch of petitions, demanding a ban on firecrackers because of their adverse impact on health.
The bench also noted that thousands of people were rendered jobless in the face of uncertainty over manufacturing of 'green crackers' whose composition and formula was yet to come through.
"What would happen to people employed in firecracker industry? People involved in manufacturing and selling of firecrackers lost their jobs after court banned manufacturing. We cannot keep people unemployed for long as they have to run their family," remarked the bench.
It added: "After all you can't generate unemployment. People can't be rendered jobless. Find out ways to deal with it. Since it is legal occupation, how can you cancel licence? Way out may be to change licencing conditions."
The issue is to be examined against right to earn living, emphasised the court. The bench asked Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni to submit a comparative study on pollution caused by the firecrackers and automobiles. The case will be heard next on April 3.
The top court had last year put nationwide curbs on bursting of firecrackers. It had also imposed severe restrictions on manufacturing and sale of crackers, making it clear that only green crackers and improved crackers will be manufactured henceforth. It fixed the time for bursting crackers during Diwali and other festivals for two hours: between 8 pm and 10 pm.
For Christmas and New Year, the time slot allowed is half-an-hour, between 11.55 pm and half-past midnight. It banned the manufacture, sale and use of joined firecrackers (series crackers or ‘laris’), holding that they caused “huge air, noise and solid waste problems.” The court had also banned online sale through e-commerce websites, including Flipkart and Amazon.
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