The Supreme Court Monday set aside a Calcutta High Court banning the sale, purchase and use of all firecrackers to curb air pollution amid Covid-19 pandemic.
While hearing the petitions filed against the high court order, a special bench of the apex court, comprising justices A M Khanwilkar and Ajay Rastogi, also asked the West Bengal government to explore the possibility to ensure that banned firecrackers and related items are not imported into the state at the entry point itself.
Barely a few days after the West Bengal government allowed bursting of only green crackers between 8 pm and 10 pm during Kali Puja, Diwali and Chhath, the Calcutta HC last Friday ordered a blanket ban on firecrackers, including green crackers, up to December 31 this year. However, the ban would not be valid on wax and oil-based diyas, it said.
Before pronouncing the order, the court also observed that it will be very difficult to segregate green crackers from normal, polluting firecrackers.
the High Court verdict, the state administration ordered to maintain the ban and instructed officials to keep a strict vigil on the use and sale of firecrackers.
Follow SC order, celebrate with green crackers, Mamata tells peop
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Monday urged people to adhere to the Supreme Court order and celebrate Diwali and Kali Puja with only green crackers. Banerjee, who inaugurated Kali puja pandals in the city, said, "I urge everyone to follow the guidelines as COVID-19 is still raging in the country. Bursting of green fireworks has been allowed but norms have to be followed. There shouldn't be any laxity..
Asking all to promote communal harmony in Bengal, she said night curfew has been relaxed for Kali puja, Diwali, Chhath, but people should not violate health protocols. "In Goa, everyone was seen wearing masks. In Siliguri and Kursesong, however, many people were found on the streets without masks. This should not happen. We must be alert," PTI quoted Banerjee as saying.