Modifying its earlier decision, the Supreme Court — while keeping the time limit of two hours between 8pm to 10 pm across Delhi-NCR for bursting crackers on Diwali — also allowed the state governments to set their own time-frames. However, the duration is not to exceed two hours a day.
Also, its earlier order permitting the use of only green firecrackers was meant for Delhi-NCR alone, and not for the entire nation, the apex court clarified today.
On October 23, the top court had said that people across the country could burst crackers only between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali and other festivals. Exceptions have been made only for Christmas and New Year’s night, when crackers could be burst between 11.55 pm to 12.30 am.
To add teeth to anti-pollution measures, yesterday the apex court has directed government authorities in Delhi-NCR to strictly impose bans on plying 15-year-old petrol and 10-year-old diesel vehicles. It also directed the transport departments to impound such vehicles if found plying.
Terming the air pollution in Delhi-NCR “very critical” and “horrible”, the top court also directed transport departments to publish a list of such vehicles on the websites of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and transport department.
It also directed the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) — headed by chairman Dr Bhure Lal — to take preventive steps under the Graded Response Action Plan meant to curb pollution in stages.