SC verdict dampens Diwali spirit in Guwahati

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

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SC verdict dampens Diwali spirit of firecracker sellers this year

Saumya Mishra | November 03, 2018 21:06 hrs

This year the spirit of Diwali has been dampened in the city with the Supreme Court’s verdict restricting the bursting of crackers and allowing only green crackers to be burst.    

The apex court, on October 23, directed that only green firecrackers which are less polluting would be sold in the country. However, the Supreme Court refused to impose a blanket ban on firecracker sale. 

Following the top court’s directive, the markets in Guwahati wore a sad look around a week ahead of the festival. 

Shopkeepers in Fancy Bazaar - the trade hub of the city - informed G Plus that they are expecting their sales to take a hit with the Supreme Court’s order.

“Our sales are yet to properly take off this year as compared to the previous years. Usually the sale of firecrackers used to begin at least a week in advance and the customers used to throng our shops ahead of Diwali to buy various kinds of crackers,” informed Rahul Jalan, a shop owner.

He added that they are witnessing a considerable drop in the number of customers and are also expecting a decline in profits this time.   

Another shop owner at Fancy Bazaar mentioned that some of the shopkeepers are still hopeful that their sales might pick up two or three days before Diwali as the festival inches closer.    

In order to check the aggravated air pollution levels due to bursting of firecrackers, a group of activists had petitioned the top court for a complete ban on fireworks.

The apex court, permitting the manufacture and sale of green crackers which have low emission across the country, fixed 8 pm to 10 pm as the time period for bursting of firecrackers during Diwali.

Further, it has also ordered that on the occasion of New Year and Christmas, bursting of firecrackers will be allowed between 11:45 PM and 12:30 AM. The SC also said that selling of 'laries' or series firecrackers will not be allowed in the country.

Venues allocated for sale of Crackers

A bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan banned the online sale of firecrackers and restrained e-commerce websites from selling them.

Abhimanyu Saikia, a student and resident of Chandmari told G Plus, “Instead of restricting the bursting of firecrackers with a view to curb pollution, the Supreme Court and the government should actually focus on curbing other forms of pollution which cause more harm to the environment.”

He added that the citizens must also exercise caution while bursting crackers and should care for the animals as well as the environment.

“The state government had called for a ban on vehicles which are older than 15 years to reduce levels of pollution. But the ban has still not been implemented; the government should also look into these aspects to better the air quality,” added Saikia.

Further, the deputy commissioner of Kamrup (Metro), Virendra Mittal, recently announced that the administration has selected certain places in the city for smooth conduct of the retail selling of firecrackers during the festival of Diwali as per the permission granted by the police commissioner, Guwahati.

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