‘Put a ban on crackers during Diwali to restrain pollution’: 3 toddlers urge SC

In first of its kind, three Delhi toddlers aged between 6 and 14, have approached the Supreme Court urging it to ban the sale of firecrackers on Diwali and Dussehra stressing that a pollution free environment was their right.

In a petition filed through their fathers, petitioners Arjun Goyal, Aarav Bhandari and Zoya Rao Bhasin of Delhi urged the court to restrain government agencies from issuing licence for sale of crackers in the city.

Citing a study conducted in Bengaluru, where awareness about restricting the use of crackers has yielded great results, the plea said the widespread use of firecrackers in Delhi during the festive season virtually clogs the atmosphere, substantially increases the pollution level and magnifies the risk of contracting lung diseases.”

“Our lungs have not yet fully developed and we cannot take further pollution through bursting of crackers,” said three infants in their petition.

“They are foremost prone to lung disease, asthma, coughing, bronchitis, retarded nervous system development and cognitive impairment,” the petitioners said.

The petition notes despite the top court’s instructions on the sale of loud firecrackers, concerned authorities have failed to take adequate measures, the petition alleged.

It further alleges that the authorities have not laid down any guidelines for manufacturers of firecrackers to conform to environmental norms. Indeed, it claims manufacturers and sellers pay no heed to environmental or health concerns while making and selling these crackers.

They said, “Over the last two years, Delhi has retained the unique distinction of being the most polluted city in the world. The levels of particulate matter are highest, and across the country, over 7 lakh deaths occur annually due to air-pollution related diseases.