The ban would ensure that the levels of air pollutants do not reach as high a limit as they did last year around Diwali.
New Delhi: While environment experts and activists welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to ban the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR, the traders termed it as the “infringement of fundamental rights.”
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that conducting business of firecrackers is a “centuries old legitimate activity” protected under the Constitution of India giving “Right to Work”. It further stated that the Union government should file a review petition before the Supreme Court.
The firecracker business amounts to over Rs 500 crore in the city and many traders, who have already purchased the stock for this Diwali, are worried that the ban will incur them huge loss.
With losses running into crores, their Diwali was going up in smoke, said the shopkeepers in Sadar Bazar and Jama Masjid, two of the biggest firecracker markets in the city.
CAIT national president BC Bhartia also pointed out that while the court has imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers, there is no ban on their bursting.
“The possibility of people buying crackers from other states and bursting in Delhi-NCR cannot be ruled out. In such a case, Delhi traders will be in a disadvantageous position and will lose business to their counterparts in other states,” said Mr Bhartia.
“The government must rise to the occasion and file a review with the Supreme Court. The traders have due respect for the apex court and are duty bound to obey the orders but it will be in fitness of things if the order is reviewed at least for this Diwali and subsequently a policy can be made,” he added.
Meanwhile, environment experts said that the ban would play a crucial role in regulating air pollution in the region and reduce impact on human health.
“The ban would ensure that the levels of air pollutants do not reach as high a limit as they did last year around Diwali. With meteorological conditions not being favourable for dispersing dust and particulate matter in a short interval, the regulation is a step in the right direction,” said Dr Ajay Mathur, the director general of Teri (The Energy and Resources Institute).