In a relief to the firecracker traders in Telangana, the Supreme Court on Friday modified the Telangana High Court’s order asking the government to impose a ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the state. After the Telangana government issued a Government Order (GO) announcing the ban on firecrackers on Friday morning, the Telangana Fire Workers Dealers Association (TFWDA) promptly approached the apex court on the same day. Imposing a ban on firecrackers, the government asked the district administration to close down the firecracker shops.
Though the rest of the state will be allowed to burst crackers for two hours, four areas in Telangana namely, Hyderabad, Sangareddy, Nalgonda and Patancheru will likely have to observe a total ban. This is because the NGT has directed a total ban in these areas that had recorded ‘poor’ AQI last year. The state government will soon issue a new order making the rules clear.
In its order, the Supreme Court bench of Justices AM Khanwalikar and Sanjiv Khanna said that the Telangana High Court’s order stands modified and would be in line with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on firecrackers issued earlier this month. On November 9, the NGT directed that there will be a total ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers between November 10-30 in areas across the country where the average ambient air quality (AQI) during the month was recorded as ‘poor’ in November 2019.
“All concerned with the state to comply with the directions in letter in spirit,” the SC was quoted as saying on Friday by Bar and Bench. As the state government was not made party to the petition, the Court said that the respondents were not served notice due to the peculiar situation and the urgency of the matter. The High Court order on November 11 stands modified, SC said.
Several states like Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim and Union Territories like Delhi and Chandigarh have already banned the use and sale of firecrackers in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NGT panel had said that in case the government did not issue specific timings for the bursting of firecrackers, people can burst them between 8 pm-10 pm on Diwali.
Meanwhile, responding to the state government’s ban on firecrackers, BJP state president Bandi Sanjay accused the Telangana government of being “anti-Hindu.” Bandi said that the KCR government “failed to protect the interests of the Hindus.”