TS for eco-friendly ‘Deepavali’, SC permits green crackers for 2 hrs

Green Deepavali
Earthen lamps lit on the bank of River Saryu on the occasion of Deepavali in Ayodhya. — Photo: ANI

Hyderabad: In a major relief to firecracker shop owners in the State, the Supreme Court on Friday modified the order of Telangana State High Court which imposed a total and immediate ban on sale and use of fireworks by people and organisations during Deepavali, in line with the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Since Hyderabad falls under the moderate category of pollution, non-polluting green crackers can be burst for two hours without breaking rules. The SC said if the State government does not specify the timing for bursting crackers, it will be between 8pm to 10pm on the day of Deepavali.

The Supreme Court’s vacation bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Sanjiv Khanna heard the writ petition filed by Telangana Fireworks Dealers Association to Telangana High Court’s Order challenging the High Cour order and issued interim orders posting further hearing on the case to November 16.

In its interim order, the SC said: “In the meanwhile, the impugned judgement stands modified and is in line with NGT’s order of November 9 which applies to the State of Telangana on all force. All concerned with the State of Telangana must comply with the directions in letter in spirit. We are conscious of the fact that the respondents are not served but in view of the peculiar situation and urgency involved, the impugned order stands modified,” the order said.

Meanwhile, Advocate Jayakrishna, counsel for Telangana Fireworks Dealers Association, said the original NGT order dated November 9, while imposing total ban on crackers in the National Capital Region (NCR), had said it will also apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November fall under poor and above category.

‘Deepavali not singled out’

“However, Hyderabad falls under the moderate category where the NGT has allowed sale and use of green crackers. The State government’s licenses to fireworks dealers are valid till 10 pm of November 14,” Jayakrishna said, adding that the NGT has not singled out Deepavali but also gave directions to festivals such as Chaat, New Year and Christmas. He further argued that the dealers association is a group of people from all religions and the impact of a ban would have impacted them uniformly.

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