Ban On Crackers Essay Writer

A blanket of haze and smog enveloped Delhi on Monday morning after a night of Diwali revelry. At 7:23 am, HT’s air quality index showed a reading of a severe 447. Air pollution level is classified as severe if it is between 401 and 500.

While the deed is done for this year, here’s why there should be a blanket ban on crackers in India:

First, the chemical footprint of crackers is deadly.

Second, the impact of crackers on children is far greater than it is on adults because their defence mechanism is much poorer and their ability to metabolise and detoxify environmental agents is different. Moreover, due to their high level of physical activities, children inhale more volume of air as compared to adults and so breathe in more toxic air.

Read: Delhi pollution level alarming post Diwali, people complain of ‘zero visibility’

Third, fire crackers have carbon and sulphur and they produce a range of gases. Plus, there are a number of chemicals that act as colouring agent, reducing agent, oxidiser, stabiliser and binder.

These colours have antimony sulphide for the glitter effect, aluminum for white, barium nitrate for green, lithium for red, copper for blue and strontium for purple.

These chemical substances are harmful to our body.

Aluminum and antimony sulphide (colouring agents) causes Alzheimer’ disease, perchlorate (ammonium and potassium), an oxidizing agent, can cause lung cancer. It causes thyroid complications, the cadmium compounds damage the lungs and leads to gastrointestinal problems.

Read: 620 million children in India, South Asia breathing toxic air: Unicef

The barium nitrate is poisonous and causes respiratory irritation, radioactive effects, gastrointestinal problems and muscular weakness.

The lithium and copper compounds causes hormonal imbalance and is poisonous to plants and animals, detrimental to physical and mental growth in infants and unborn children, accumulation within the body and by-products like nitrogen dioxide which is highly poisonous, fatal for infants, the source of acid rain.

Most of these toxins can trigger cancer.

Fourth, these gases cause respiratory problems. Hospitals in Delhi report at least 30%-40% increase in wheezing, respiratory disease, bronchial asthma, bronchitis, and worsening of asthma.

India Chest Society has issued warning about hearing loss, blood pressure, sleeping disturbances, heart ailments and nausea effects on pets.

In 1992, the Centre issued a notification to ban explosives containing a series of dangerous substances like sulphur or sulphurate mixed with potassium chlorate or chlorate of other elements.

It said storage and handling of these compounds is hazardous and can cause serious accidents. They are sensitive to the slightest amount of friction and are toxic to the skin. When coupled with potassium, they form explosives that lead to fires and deaths. The fire that took place at a temple in Kollam, Kerala, killed over 100 people in April 2016 was caused due to fireworks made from these banned substances.

The unstable and explosive nature of chlorates and perchlorates makes crackers noisier and gives a “bigger bang for your buck”. Before the 1992 notification, firecracker manufacturers preferred potassium chlorates and perchlorates because they were cheaper. They cost one-third as compared to their substitutes, potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate mixtures.

Usman Nasim is Research Associate, Clean Air and Sustainable Mobility, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi

The views expressed are personal

The ban on sale of firecrackers, reckons Vijayant Jain, is too little, too late. "The damage has already been done," says the businessman in Rohini, north-west Delhi. People, he lets on, have already bought crackers and are still buying it. "It won’t be a smoke-free Diwali," he rues.

On Friday, even the Supreme Court acknowledged that the ban doesn’t mean a Diwali without crackers. "We haven’t stopped the bursting of crackers. That will happen. Sale had already taken place," a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AK Sikri reportedly observed while refusing to modify its earlier order on October 9 that banned the sale of crackers till the end of the month to assess its impact on air pollution. "Anyway, it is not a cracker-free Diwali," the bench added.

The apex court’s blunt remarks on Friday dampened the spirits of thousands like Jain who had welcomed the ban on cracker sales but were sceptical about its execution. "Even the Supreme Court knows that people will burst crackers. What’s the point in banning then?" he fumes, though he concedes it’s a Catch 22 situation. Had the judiciary not banned the sale, it would have let down the citizens, but even after a ban, it can do little to stop air pollution, he avers. A ban on sale of fireworks in Delhi NCR is unlikely to have much of an impact broadly due to two reasons. First, according to the numbers submitted in the court by the counsel representing the Firecrackers’ Association, there’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in the city and its outskirts: 50 lakh kg in NCR, and 1 lakh kg in Delhi. Most of this stock, reckon traders, has already been sold. What makes matter worst is the massive fresh stock that has illegally entered Delhi NCR this year. "More than 100 lakh kg firecrackers in Delhi NCR today bear the manufacturing date of 2017," claims Mukul Gupta, one of the wholesalers in Delhi’s firecracker market near Jama Masjid, who bought fresh stock from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu.

Last November, a bench of Supreme Court had suspended existing licences for possessing, stocking and selling firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. When that order had been flouted with impunity, wonders Gupta, "do you think the latest one banning sale would be adhered to?"

TALE OF TWO FAMILIES IN DELHI



Going Up in Smoke
Early in the week, when this writer visited wholesale markets in Delhi and Gurgaon, he found dealers illegally selling crackers, though not openly. "When production has not been banned, why should sale be banned," asks Ranjeet Chadhha, a cracker dealer in Gurgaon. Chadhha had invested Rs 25 lakh in buying crackers for this season, apart from the stock that he had from last year. "Why should we bear the loss? There is demand for crackers and we are only supplying it," he says.

Demand, clearly, exists, and that’s the second reason why a ban confined to a geographical area won’t have much impact. Take, for instance, the Mishras in Paschim Vihar in Delhi. Under pressure from his kids to buy crackers, Rittwish Mishra is planning to go to Jaipur, some 275 km from Delhi, for cracker shopping. His logic is simple: can two days of bursting crackers choke Delhi, asks the businessman who last year too generously spent on bursting crackers. Does the court mean to say, adds Mishra, that the terrible quality of air in Delhi is only due to burning of crackers? What about the millions of cars and pollution due to burning of crop stubble in Haryana and Punjab?


There’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in Delhi NCR; massive fresh stock is illegally being bought from places like Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu

While acknowledging that air quality has alarmingly deteriorated in Delhi over the last few years, Mishra refuses to buy the theory of crackers as the main culprit. "Diwali comes once a year, so we must celebrate," he says. Even the courts are not sure about the Diwali-pollution direct link. A Supreme Court bench on September 12 this year conceded that it needed more evidence to come to a firm conclusion. "From the material before us," the bench ruled in Arjun Gopal vs Union of India hearing, "it cannot be said with any great degree of certainty that the extremely poor quality of air in Delhi in November and December 2016 was the result only of bursting fireworks around Diwali."



The bench headed by justice Madan B Lokur remarked that the need of the hour was to correlate air pollution with the sale and bursting of fireworks in Delhi and the NCR. "There is no doubt that the air we breathe gets polluted with the bursting of fireworks. The extent of air pollution caused by bursting fireworks is not clear in the absence of empirical data. It could be severe or it could be marginal, but it is there," the court observed.

A month later, on October 9, another Supreme Court bench banned the sale of crackers in Delhi NCR. Bursting of firecrackers during Diwali in 2016 had resulted in particulate matter (PM) levels shooting up by three times, making Delhi the worst city in the world, the bench remarked. Direct and immediate cause thereof was burning of crackers during Diwali, it observed.

But can a ban fix the problem? Legal experts beg to differ. "Even before the ban, the market was flooded with firecrackers with a 2017 manufacturing date," says SP Aggarwal, a Delhi High Court advocate. Are plastics not banned in Delhi or are tinted glasses in cars not prohibited, asks Aggarwal. "Then how come we find them in plenty in Delhi NCR," he wonders. The solution likes, he reckons, not just in banning but in execution. What also underlines the problem in Delhi, quite similar to that in the rest of the country, is the absence of public consciousness for the larger good. Jain in Rohini thinks judicial activism would make no sense as long as people don’t act responsibly. In 2005, the Supreme Court had banned bursting of sound emitting firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am. "People burst crackers the whole night," he says, adding that most of them will spend money to buy air masks but won’t do their bit to stop buying crackers. "Courts can only make laws, but what instils life into a law is the willingness of people to accept it," he adds, underlining that much is at stake for everybody.



Deepak Hooda in Kadipur village in Gurgaon agrees that much is at stake, but only for a certain section of the population: manufacturers and sellers. A wholesale cracker dealer, Hooda has done robust business despite the ban. "The ban has given birth to a black market... And has the court thought about lakhs of people employed in cracker factories," he asks. "Much is at stake for them as well."

Will Delhi get ready to celebrate a quieter and cleaner Diwali? The answer may be blowing in the wind.
The ban on sale of firecrackers, reckons Vijayant Jain, is too little, too late. "The damage has already been done," says the businessman in Rohini, north-west Delhi. People, he lets on, have already bought crackers and are still buying it. "It won’t be a smoke-free Diwali," he rues.

On Friday, even the Supreme Court acknowledged that the ban doesn’t mean a Diwali without crackers. "We haven’t stopped the bursting of crackers. That will happen. Sale had already taken place," a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AK Sikri reportedly observed while refusing to modify its earlier order on October 9 that banned the sale of crackers till the end of the month to assess its impact on air pollution. "Anyway, it is not a cracker-free Diwali," the bench added.

The apex court’s blunt remarks on Friday dampened the spirits of thousands like Jain who had welcomed the ban on cracker sales but were sceptical about its execution. "Even the Supreme Court knows that people will burst crackers. What’s the point in banning then?" he fumes, though he concedes it’s a Catch 22 situation. Had the judiciary not banned the sale, it would have let down the citizens, but even after a ban, it can do little to stop air pollution, he avers. A ban on sale of fireworks in Delhi NCR is unlikely to have much of an impact broadly due to two reasons. First, according to the numbers submitted in the court by the counsel representing the Firecrackers’ Association, there’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in the city and its outskirts: 50 lakh kg in NCR, and 1 lakh kg in Delhi. Most of this stock, reckon traders, has already been sold. What makes matter worst is the massive fresh stock that has illegally entered Delhi NCR this year. "More than 100 lakh kg firecrackers in Delhi NCR today bear the manufacturing date of 2017," claims Mukul Gupta, one of the wholesalers in Delhi’s firecracker market near Jama Masjid, who bought fresh stock from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu.

Last November, a bench of Supreme Court had suspended existing licences for possessing, stocking and selling firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. When that order had been flouted with impunity, wonders Gupta, "do you think the latest one banning sale would be adhered to?"

TALE OF TWO FAMILIES IN DELHI



Going Up in Smoke
Early in the week, when this writer visited wholesale markets in Delhi and Gurgaon, he found dealers illegally selling crackers, though not openly. "When production has not been banned, why should sale be banned," asks Ranjeet Chadhha, a cracker dealer in Gurgaon. Chadhha had invested Rs 25 lakh in buying crackers for this season, apart from the stock that he had from last year. "Why should we bear the loss? There is demand for crackers and we are only supplying it," he says.

Demand, clearly, exists, and that’s the second reason why a ban confined to a geographical area won’t have much impact. Take, for instance, the Mishras in Paschim Vihar in Delhi. Under pressure from his kids to buy crackers, Rittwish Mishra is planning to go to Jaipur, some 275 km from Delhi, for cracker shopping. His logic is simple: can two days of bursting crackers choke Delhi, asks the businessman who last year too generously spent on bursting crackers. Does the court mean to say, adds Mishra, that the terrible quality of air in Delhi is only due to burning of crackers? What about the millions of cars and pollution due to burning of crop stubble in Haryana and Punjab?


There’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in Delhi NCR; massive fresh stock is illegally being bought from places like Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu

While acknowledging that air quality has alarmingly deteriorated in Delhi over the last few years, Mishra refuses to buy the theory of crackers as the main culprit. "Diwali comes once a year, so we must celebrate," he says. Even the courts are not sure about the Diwali-pollution direct link. A Supreme Court bench on September 12 this year conceded that it needed more evidence to come to a firm conclusion. "From the material before us," the bench ruled in Arjun Gopal vs Union of India hearing, "it cannot be said with any great degree of certainty that the extremely poor quality of air in Delhi in November and December 2016 was the result only of bursting fireworks around Diwali."



The bench headed by justice Madan B Lokur remarked that the need of the hour was to correlate air pollution with the sale and bursting of fireworks in Delhi and the NCR. "There is no doubt that the air we breathe gets polluted with the bursting of fireworks. The extent of air pollution caused by bursting fireworks is not clear in the absence of empirical data. It could be severe or it could be marginal, but it is there," the court observed.

A month later, on October 9, another Supreme Court bench banned the sale of crackers in Delhi NCR. Bursting of firecrackers during Diwali in 2016 had resulted in particulate matter (PM) levels shooting up by three times, making Delhi the worst city in the world, the bench remarked. Direct and immediate cause thereof was burning of crackers during Diwali, it observed.

But can a ban fix the problem? Legal experts beg to differ. "Even before the ban, the market was flooded with firecrackers with a 2017 manufacturing date," says SP Aggarwal, a Delhi High Court advocate. Are plastics not banned in Delhi or are tinted glasses in cars not prohibited, asks Aggarwal. "Then how come we find them in plenty in Delhi NCR," he wonders. The solution likes, he reckons, not just in banning but in execution. What also underlines the problem in Delhi, quite similar to that in the rest of the country, is the absence of public consciousness for the larger good. Jain in Rohini thinks judicial activism would make no sense as long as people don’t act responsibly. In 2005, the Supreme Court had banned bursting of sound emitting firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am. "People burst crackers the whole night," he says, adding that most of them will spend money to buy air masks but won’t do their bit to stop buying crackers. "Courts can only make laws, but what instils life into a law is the willingness of people to accept it," he adds, underlining that much is at stake for everybody.



Deepak Hooda in Kadipur village in Gurgaon agrees that much is at stake, but only for a certain section of the population: manufacturers and sellers. A wholesale cracker dealer, Hooda has done robust business despite the ban. "The ban has given birth to a black market... And has the court thought about lakhs of people employed in cracker factories," he asks. "Much is at stake for them as well."

Will Delhi get ready to celebrate a quieter and cleaner Diwali? The answer may be blowing in the wind.
The ban on sale of firecrackers, reckons Vijayant Jain, is too little, too late. "The damage has already been done," says the businessman in Rohini, north-west Delhi. People, he lets on, have already bought crackers and are still buying it. "It won’t be a smoke-free Diwali," he rues.

On Friday, even the Supreme Court acknowledged that the ban doesn’t mean a Diwali without crackers. "We haven’t stopped the bursting of crackers. That will happen. Sale had already taken place," a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AK Sikri reportedly observed while refusing to modify its earlier order on October 9 that banned the sale of crackers till the end of the month to assess its impact on air pollution. "Anyway, it is not a cracker-free Diwali," the bench added.

The apex court’s blunt remarks on Friday dampened the spirits of thousands like Jain who had welcomed the ban on cracker sales but were sceptical about its execution. "Even the Supreme Court knows that people will burst crackers. What’s the point in banning then?" he fumes, though he concedes it’s a Catch 22 situation. Had the judiciary not banned the sale, it would have let down the citizens, but even after a ban, it can do little to stop air pollution, he avers. A ban on sale of fireworks in Delhi NCR is unlikely to have much of an impact broadly due to two reasons. First, according to the numbers submitted in the court by the counsel representing the Firecrackers’ Association, there’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in the city and its outskirts: 50 lakh kg in NCR, and 1 lakh kg in Delhi. Most of this stock, reckon traders, has already been sold. What makes matter worst is the massive fresh stock that has illegally entered Delhi NCR this year. "More than 100 lakh kg firecrackers in Delhi NCR today bear the manufacturing date of 2017," claims Mukul Gupta, one of the wholesalers in Delhi’s firecracker market near Jama Masjid, who bought fresh stock from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu.

Last November, a bench of Supreme Court had suspended existing licences for possessing, stocking and selling firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. When that order had been flouted with impunity, wonders Gupta, "do you think the latest one banning sale would be adhered to?"

TALE OF TWO FAMILIES IN DELHI



Going Up in Smoke
Early in the week, when this writer visited wholesale markets in Delhi and Gurgaon, he found dealers illegally selling crackers, though not openly. "When production has not been banned, why should sale be banned," asks Ranjeet Chadhha, a cracker dealer in Gurgaon. Chadhha had invested Rs 25 lakh in buying crackers for this season, apart from the stock that he had from last year. "Why should we bear the loss? There is demand for crackers and we are only supplying it," he says.

Demand, clearly, exists, and that’s the second reason why a ban confined to a geographical area won’t have much impact. Take, for instance, the Mishras in Paschim Vihar in Delhi. Under pressure from his kids to buy crackers, Rittwish Mishra is planning to go to Jaipur, some 275 km from Delhi, for cracker shopping. His logic is simple: can two days of bursting crackers choke Delhi, asks the businessman who last year too generously spent on bursting crackers. Does the court mean to say, adds Mishra, that the terrible quality of air in Delhi is only due to burning of crackers? What about the millions of cars and pollution due to burning of crop stubble in Haryana and Punjab?


There’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in Delhi NCR; massive fresh stock is illegally being bought from places like Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu

While acknowledging that air quality has alarmingly deteriorated in Delhi over the last few years, Mishra refuses to buy the theory of crackers as the main culprit. "Diwali comes once a year, so we must celebrate," he says. Even the courts are not sure about the Diwali-pollution direct link. A Supreme Court bench on September 12 this year conceded that it needed more evidence to come to a firm conclusion. "From the material before us," the bench ruled in Arjun Gopal vs Union of India hearing, "it cannot be said with any great degree of certainty that the extremely poor quality of air in Delhi in November and December 2016 was the result only of bursting fireworks around Diwali."



The bench headed by justice Madan B Lokur remarked that the need of the hour was to correlate air pollution with the sale and bursting of fireworks in Delhi and the NCR. "There is no doubt that the air we breathe gets polluted with the bursting of fireworks. The extent of air pollution caused by bursting fireworks is not clear in the absence of empirical data. It could be severe or it could be marginal, but it is there," the court observed.

A month later, on October 9, another Supreme Court bench banned the sale of crackers in Delhi NCR. Bursting of firecrackers during Diwali in 2016 had resulted in particulate matter (PM) levels shooting up by three times, making Delhi the worst city in the world, the bench remarked. Direct and immediate cause thereof was burning of crackers during Diwali, it observed.

But can a ban fix the problem? Legal experts beg to differ. "Even before the ban, the market was flooded with firecrackers with a 2017 manufacturing date," says SP Aggarwal, a Delhi High Court advocate. Are plastics not banned in Delhi or are tinted glasses in cars not prohibited, asks Aggarwal. "Then how come we find them in plenty in Delhi NCR," he wonders. The solution likes, he reckons, not just in banning but in execution. What also underlines the problem in Delhi, quite similar to that in the rest of the country, is the absence of public consciousness for the larger good. Jain in Rohini thinks judicial activism would make no sense as long as people don’t act responsibly. In 2005, the Supreme Court had banned bursting of sound emitting firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am. "People burst crackers the whole night," he says, adding that most of them will spend money to buy air masks but won’t do their bit to stop buying crackers. "Courts can only make laws, but what instils life into a law is the willingness of people to accept it," he adds, underlining that much is at stake for everybody.



Deepak Hooda in Kadipur village in Gurgaon agrees that much is at stake, but only for a certain section of the population: manufacturers and sellers. A wholesale cracker dealer, Hooda has done robust business despite the ban. "The ban has given birth to a black market... And has the court thought about lakhs of people employed in cracker factories," he asks. "Much is at stake for them as well."

Will Delhi get ready to celebrate a quieter and cleaner Diwali? The answer may be blowing in the wind.
The ban on sale of firecrackers, reckons Vijayant Jain, is too little, too late. "The damage has already been done," says the businessman in Rohini, north-west Delhi. People, he lets on, have already bought crackers and are still buying it. "It won’t be a smoke-free Diwali," he rues.

On Friday, even the Supreme Court acknowledged that the ban doesn’t mean a Diwali without crackers. "We haven’t stopped the bursting of crackers. That will happen. Sale had already taken place," a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AK Sikri reportedly observed while refusing to modify its earlier order on October 9 that banned the sale of crackers till the end of the month to assess its impact on air pollution. "Anyway, it is not a cracker-free Diwali," the bench added.

The apex court’s blunt remarks on Friday dampened the spirits of thousands like Jain who had welcomed the ban on cracker sales but were sceptical about its execution. "Even the Supreme Court knows that people will burst crackers. What’s the point in banning then?" he fumes, though he concedes it’s a Catch 22 situation. Had the judiciary not banned the sale, it would have let down the citizens, but even after a ban, it can do little to stop air pollution, he avers. A ban on sale of fireworks in Delhi NCR is unlikely to have much of an impact broadly due to two reasons. First, according to the numbers submitted in the court by the counsel representing the Firecrackers’ Association, there’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in the city and its outskirts: 50 lakh kg in NCR, and 1 lakh kg in Delhi. Most of this stock, reckon traders, has already been sold. What makes matter worst is the massive fresh stock that has illegally entered Delhi NCR this year. "More than 100 lakh kg firecrackers in Delhi NCR today bear the manufacturing date of 2017," claims Mukul Gupta, one of the wholesalers in Delhi’s firecracker market near Jama Masjid, who bought fresh stock from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu.

Last November, a bench of Supreme Court had suspended existing licences for possessing, stocking and selling firecrackers in Delhi-NCR. When that order had been flouted with impunity, wonders Gupta, "do you think the latest one banning sale would be adhered to?"

TALE OF TWO FAMILIES IN DELHI



Going Up in Smoke
Early in the week, when this writer visited wholesale markets in Delhi and Gurgaon, he found dealers illegally selling crackers, though not openly. "When production has not been banned, why should sale be banned," asks Ranjeet Chadhha, a cracker dealer in Gurgaon. Chadhha had invested Rs 25 lakh in buying crackers for this season, apart from the stock that he had from last year. "Why should we bear the loss? There is demand for crackers and we are only supplying it," he says.

Demand, clearly, exists, and that’s the second reason why a ban confined to a geographical area won’t have much impact. Take, for instance, the Mishras in Paschim Vihar in Delhi. Under pressure from his kids to buy crackers, Rittwish Mishra is planning to go to Jaipur, some 275 km from Delhi, for cracker shopping. His logic is simple: can two days of bursting crackers choke Delhi, asks the businessman who last year too generously spent on bursting crackers. Does the court mean to say, adds Mishra, that the terrible quality of air in Delhi is only due to burning of crackers? What about the millions of cars and pollution due to burning of crop stubble in Haryana and Punjab?


There’s already a huge stock of crackers from last year in Delhi NCR; massive fresh stock is illegally being bought from places like Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu

While acknowledging that air quality has alarmingly deteriorated in Delhi over the last few years, Mishra refuses to buy the theory of crackers as the main culprit. "Diwali comes once a year, so we must celebrate," he says. Even the courts are not sure about the Diwali-pollution direct link. A Supreme Court bench on September 12 this year conceded that it needed more evidence to come to a firm conclusion. "From the material before us," the bench ruled in Arjun Gopal vs Union of India hearing, "it cannot be said with any great degree of certainty that the extremely poor quality of air in Delhi in November and December 2016 was the result only of bursting fireworks around Diwali."



The bench headed by justice Madan B Lokur remarked that the need of the hour was to correlate air pollution with the sale and bursting of fireworks in Delhi and the NCR. "There is no doubt that the air we breathe gets polluted with the bursting of fireworks. The extent of air pollution caused by bursting fireworks is not clear in the absence of empirical data. It could be severe or it could be marginal, but it is there," the court observed.

A month later, on October 9, another Supreme Court bench banned the sale of crackers in Delhi NCR. Bursting of firecrackers during Diwali in 2016 had resulted in particulate matter (PM) levels shooting up by three times, making Delhi the worst city in the world, the bench remarked. Direct and immediate cause thereof was burning of crackers during Diwali, it observed.

But can a ban fix the problem? Legal experts beg to differ. "Even before the ban, the market was flooded with firecrackers with a 2017 manufacturing date," says SP Aggarwal, a Delhi High Court advocate. Are plastics not banned in Delhi or are tinted glasses in cars not prohibited, asks Aggarwal. "Then how come we find them in plenty in Delhi NCR," he wonders. The solution likes, he reckons, not just in banning but in execution. What also underlines the problem in Delhi, quite similar to that in the rest of the country, is the absence of public consciousness for the larger good. Jain in Rohini thinks judicial activism would make no sense as long as people don’t act responsibly. In 2005, the Supreme Court had banned bursting of sound emitting firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am. "People burst crackers the whole night," he says, adding that most of them will spend money to buy air masks but won’t do their bit to stop buying crackers. "Courts can only make laws, but what instils life into a law is the willingness of people to accept it," he adds, underlining that much is at stake for everybody.



Deepak Hooda in Kadipur village in Gurgaon agrees that much is at stake, but only for a certain section of the population: manufacturers and sellers. A wholesale cracker dealer, Hooda has done robust business despite the ban. "The ban has given birth to a black market... And has the court thought about lakhs of people employed in cracker factories," he asks. "Much is at stake for them as well."

Will Delhi get ready to celebrate a quieter and cleaner Diwali? The answer may be blowing in the wind.

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