18:05 GMT +315 November 2018
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    People hold sky lanterns to release during a campaign against the use of firecrackers during Diwali festival in Kolkata, India

    Indian Court Rejects Blanket Ban on Firecrackers in Delhi

    © AP Photo / Bikas Das
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    A WHO report had termed Delhi to be the world’s most polluted city in one of its recent reports. Three petitions were filed in the apex court seeking a complete ban on firecrackers. The court order, however, attempts to strike a balance by imposing restrictions on the timing and place of using fireworks during festivals.

    India's apex court on Tuesday rejected a plea for a complete ban on firecrackers during the Hindu festival of Deepawali.

    Observing that "we tried to strike a balance", the two bench judge of the Supreme Court of India restricted the use of crackers to tackle concerns about deadly pollution in Delhi and other cities in India. The apex court allowed the use of safer firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm only on the day of the festival.

    READ MORE: Indian Environmental Activist Dies Fasting

    The two-hour limit has been set for all festivals and weddings. Meanwhile, the court has set an exception for Christmas and New Year by letting a 35-minute window to celebrate the occasions during midnight. The judges said in their order that in Delhi, crackers will be allowed only in designated spots, which need to be identified within a week.

    However, the Pollution Control Board has expressed its dissatisfaction on the judgment.

    Many Twitter users have expressed their reservations on the judgment.

    READ MORE: Indian Prime Minister Receives Prestigious UN Environment Award

    The court order also provides that only licensed traders can sell firecrackers and the crackers must be made of permitted chemicals that ensure reduced emissions. Crackers in India cannot be sold online with E-commerce sites facing penalties if they do otherwise.

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    Tags:
    firecrackers, dung festivals, air pollution, ban, Supreme Court of India, India, Delhi
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