Delhi govt’s ban on Firecrackers instigated debate on Sustainable Livelihoods and Environment

Delhi government’s ban on the use and sale of firecrackers ahead of Diwali has left the Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) fulminating as it demands the compensation to firecracker traders from the heads of all  other states along with Chief Minister of Delhi  for the losses they are likely to incur following the restriction imposed by them on the sale of firecrackers.
The other states who have imposed restrictions on firecrackers are West Bengal, Sikkim, Odisha, Rajasthan, Haryana, Chandigarh, though some states like Karnataka who had issued a ban earlier later allowed the use of green crackers.
CAIT argued that the Delhi ban will be impacting the livelihoods of lakhs of small traders who earn in the festive season through selling firecrackers and the decision is blatant violation of an order of the Supreme Court of India who said in March last year, ““it wasn’t in favour of a complete ban on crackers and instead suggested regulating the polluting aspect of the industry.”
But allowing the manufacturing and sale of green crackers, Justice S A Bobde with Justice S Abdul Nazeer had also told Additional Solicitor General A S Nadkarni, who appeared for the Centre,”“I know you are gunning for firecrackers, but the larger pollutants are perhaps automobiles.”
The firecracker industry in India provides employment to around 10 lakh people with over 80 per cent of firecrackers are made in Sivakasi in Tamilnadu as it has at least 1,100 firecracker manufacturing units.
Come winter and Delhi is faced with same problem of toxic air and dangerous smog caused by indiscriminate stubble burning by farmers of Haryana and Punjab, which worsens after Diwali, but it remains the business as usual, it’s about time to make a transparent and compilable firecracker policy to ensure sustainable livelihoods.
Cover image by Scroll

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