Three infants, through their fathers, have moved the Supreme Court against the use of loud firecrackers during Diwali and Dussehra.
Three infants, through their fathers, have moved the Supreme Court against the use of loud firecrackers during Diwali and Dussehra.This is perhaps the first time in the history of apex court that such young petitioners (between the age of six months and 14 months) have approached it on any issue.These petitioners, children of three practising lawyers here, are seeking a court order directing the authorities to take appropriate measures to stop pollution caused due to fireworks during the festival season.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In their joint plea, the petitioners have highlighted the “alarming” rate of deterioration of the air quality in Delhi due to pollution caused by, but not limited to, traffic congestion, dust from widespread construction, industrial pollution and the seasonal use of firecrackers.The plea says that the widespread use of firecrackers in the national capital during the festive season exposes vulnerable infants to severe diseases such as asthma and worsens their lung condition.Filed through advocates Pooja Dhar and Zeeshan Dhawan, the petitioners Arjun Goyal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin, say, “Diwali is a festival of lights and an auspicious occasion. Public places, monuments, roads etc are cleaned and beautified…But due to increase in population and demand for such fireworks, use of firecrackers has not only become more widespread around Diwali but also dangerous. Apart from the risk of death or grievous injury, it also now poses a silent threat to life around festival time.” The petition said, “It is necessary that the Central government and state governments take immediate steps to bring the Bharat Stage Emission standards in line with the highest international norms so that Euro-VI equivalent fuel, which is presently exported, will now be used domestically and uniformly across the country…” The petition is likely to be listed for hearing soon. “They are foremost prone to lung disease, asthma, coughing, bronchitis, retarded nervous system development and cognitive impairment,” the petitioners Arjun Goyal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin, Delhi residents, submitted through their lawyer Gopal Shankar Narayan.The plea said the right of their kids to breathe clean air is essential for a conducive environment for growth and development and blamed the authorities for not laying down any guidelines regarding sale of crackers.”Authorities haven’t laid down any guidelines to ensure that manufacturers or sellers conform to environmental norms while distributing these crackers. A look at the licences will show that environmental and pollution concerns are furthest from the minds of the Government representatives,” it said.”The imminent advent of festivals that involve widespread fireworks are a clear and present danger to the health of the Applicants and the other children who are residents of Delhi,” the petition said.The plea also cited a study in Bangalore that shows how a widespread awareness campaign and enforcement mechanisms led to a sharp 32 per cent decrease in pollution levels there during Diwali time in 2013 compared to a year ago.The petition said that a 2005 top court ruling restricting use of fireworks beyond 10 pm had brought some respite to Delhiites but studies thereafter revealed that cases of wheezing, respiratory diseases, exacerbation of bronchial asthma and bronchitis increase by 40 per cent during Diwali.—With inputs from agencies
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