The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to impose a nationwide ban on sale of firecrackers. The apex court stated that only low-polluting ‘green firecrackers’, within the permitted decibel limits and emission norms will be allowed to be sold. The court also banned the online sale of firecrackers and restricted the timing of burning crackers between 8pm to 10pm for Diwali.
The mandate comes as a response to a plea that sought a ban on manufacturing and sale of firecrackers to curb air pollution.
Even though the order of the Supreme Court is welcome, as it curbs the use of crackers with high polluting factors and limits the time span, yet, it lets a lot of questions remain unanswered.
First, what are green crackers? Do manufacturing units across India have the technical know-how available? How will the authenticity of the material used, be tested? It is still a small-scale indigenous industry in India. Assuming them to have world-class knowledge is asking for too much.
Second, pollution is a hazardous issue mounting pressure on us by the day. Diwali sees pollution levels touch sky high levels. Health problems, infections and allergies are prominent hazards.
Third, how will the state governments impose a time monitoring framework. With Diwali, less than 15 days away, will a fool proof mechanism be laid out with precision?
India is a huge country and understanding legal rulings is not easy. The onus to save future generations, finally, lies with us. Environmental issues are real and need immediate attention from all sections of the society.