Diwali may be the festival of light, but in India’s capital, the festival begins to lose its very essence due to the excessive levels of pollution Delhi faces. Air quality levels are constantly under the radar and last year, in a report by The Indian Express, it was noted that the levels of pollution had elevated quantitatively. Subsequently, the licences that permitted wholesale and retail of firecrackers in and around NCR were suspended by the Supreme Court, on November 11, 2016.
This year in September however, the ban was temporarily relaxed. The advocate representing the Firecrackers’ Association presented a case that the size of particulate matter in ambient air was 2.5 PM, thereby suggesting that firecrackers were not the greatest cause of increased pollution levels. For a counter, the Central Pollution Control Board’s side endured their stand on the fact that pollution levels were augmented, ipso facto, because of the firecrackers.
In effect, the Supreme Court has put the sale of firecrackers on hold in Delhi-NCR region, during Diwali this year. It shall review its order after Diwali, depending on the ambient air quality of the festival, according to a Hindustan Times report. Besides, there have been smaller, more meaningful moves in the Capital city wherein the The Directorate of Education (DoE) has written to the heads of all schools in the region ‘to encourage and motivate school children to reduce, if not eliminate, bursting of firecrackers as part of any festivities,’ says The Hindu report.