In a recent development, the Supreme Court has clarified that its order restricting the use of barium and banned chemicals in firecrackers is not limited to the National Capital Region (NCR) but applies to the entire country. The bench of Justices A S Bopanna and M M Sundresh, responding to an application seeking compliance from the Rajasthan government, emphasized that the orders issued to minimize air and noise pollution during the festival season are binding for all states.
The court’s decision, dating back to October 2018, prohibited the production and sale of all crackers except ‘green crackers’ and those with reduced emissions. It also banned the use of barium salts, the manufacture and sale of ‘joined crackers,’ and set noise level limits. The online sale of firecrackers was prohibited, allowing sales only through licensed traders, and a specific schedule for bursting crackers on various occasions was outlined.
It is crucial to note that the Supreme Court reiterated that there is no complete ban on the use of firecrackers. Rather, only those firecrackers deemed injurious to health are restricted. As the festive season approaches, the court’s directive is clear: all states, including Rajasthan, must take proactive measures to minimize both air and noise pollution not only during Diwali but also in the aftermath of the celebrations.