India bans Diwali firecrackers in Delhi in bid to reduce toxic smog

Diwali: Supreme Court ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR

FireCrackers sale: Supreme Court upholds its 2016 verdict which banned the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR

There will be no firecrackers available for purchase this Diwali as the Supreme Court upheld its earlier verdict banning sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region. The Supreme Court then declared the ban suspended for some time, in a ruling that firecracker makers said was "well-reasoned".

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday said it too was anxious about pollution in Delhi but said it was not in favour of banning firecrackers during Diwali.

Global environmental group Greenpeace said the court ban on crackers was only a small relief for the "episodic air pollution levels in October". "Say no to crackers, let's celebrate a pollution free Diwali??"

The order was based on a slew of petitions to ban the use of fireworks.

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The city's air is among the dirtiest in the world - and after Diwali past year, choking smog forced schools to close for three days.

The SC simultaneously suspended all licenses issued by the Delhi Police to shopkeepers that allowed them to sell fireworks.

Now, after petitioner Arjun Gopal petitioned to reinstate the ban, so as not to let a surge of air pollution levels like a year ago, the Supreme Court has given a green signal.

New Delhi's air quality has hit "very unhealthy" levels, U.S. Embassy data shows.

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Average year round air pollutant levels in Delhi were more than 5 times the safe levels as specified by India and were 10 times higher of that as specified by the World Health Organization (WHO).

India and China together account for more than half of the 4.2 million deaths attributable to air pollution worldwide in 2015, a study by the US -based Health Effects Institute (HEI) showed. The Supreme Court judgement has come ahead of Diwali.

The twists and turns on the part of the apex court were mainly because there is no credible and reliable study by any Indian agency on the extent bursting of firecrackers affects the environment and private agencies have reported contradictory findings.

Fireworks manufacturers in Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi, which accounts for 85 per cent of all crackers sold in the country, said that they are anxious that other states might follow the footprints of the top court order.

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