SC's stern stance on firecrackers puts responsibility on citizens
Supreme Court takes a firm stand on firecrackers, blames citizens amid pollution crisis
The Supreme Court of India has emphasized the importance of environmental sensitivity and urged all states and Union Territories to adhere to its directives concerning restrictions on firecracker usage during Diwali and throughout the year. The court noted that celebrating by polluting the environment is a selfish act and called for greater awareness and responsibility.
A bench of justices AS Bopanna and MM Sundresh stated that imposing a complete ban on firecrackers is challenging to enforce unless people voluntarily decide to stop using them. The bench highlighted the need to sensitize people to the environmental impact of fireworks and emphasized that limiting the use of firecrackers to specific times alone won't solve the pollution issue.
Shared responsibility for pollution control
The bench asserted that the responsibility for managing air and sound pollution is not solely that of the court but extends to everyone. They noted that it's essential for individuals to share in the effort to reduce pollution and that celebration should not involve causing harm to the environment.
The Supreme Court recalled its earlier directives to both the central government and states to address various causes of air and noise pollution, including firecrackers. The court stressed the importance of people taking action themselves and recommended that state governments raise awareness, sensitize citizens, and advertise to promote responsible behavior.
Compliance with Supreme Court orders
In its order, the court emphasized that all states, including Rajasthan, should adhere to the previous orders passed by the Supreme Court to reduce air and noise pollution. These measures are not limited to festive seasons but should be implemented throughout the year.
The court also addressed the issue of stubble burning in neighboring states of Delhi, seeking a response from the India Meteorological Department. While media reports suggest a "blame-game" among states regarding the causes of air and noise pollution, the court refrained from taking up the stubble burning issue, as it is already under consideration by another bench.
The ban on certain types of firecrackers was initiated in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by three minors, who highlighted the flouting of the ban by manufacturers and the harmful impact on the environment and public health. The Supreme Court had directed the development of improved, eco-friendly firecrackers without harmful substances.