HC bans bursting of crackers on New Year’s Eve in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh
The high court also put a ban on bursting of crackers during marriages and other celebratory functions.punjab Updated: Dec 07, 2017 19:37 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday banned bursting of crackers on New Year’s eve and a day later in Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana, excluding areas under the national capital region (NCR).
The court also put a ban on bursting of crackers during marriages and other celebratory functions in these areas. The ban order will remain in place till January 11, the next date of hearing.
The order was passed during the resumed hearing of a suo motu petition initiated ahead of Diwali in October following reports of rising levels of pollution. The high court had then fixed the time slot of 6.30pm to 9.30pm for bursting crackers on Diwali in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. It had later restricted fireworks timings to three hours on Gurpurb, the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, on November 4.
The districts under NCR in Haryana where HC order will not be applicable are Jhajjar, Gurgaon, Mewat, Palwal, Panipat, Rewari, Sonepat, Rohtak, Karnal, Mahendergarh, Faridabad, Bhiwani and Jind. The districts where the order will be applicable are Ambala, Fatehabad, Sirsa, Hisar, Yamunagar, Kurukshetra, Dadri and Panchkula.
A detailed order is awaited in this regard.
Senior advocate Anupam Gupta, who is amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the matter, said, “The order will be applicable in entire Punjab and Chandigarh and areas excluding NCR in Haryana. NCR districts have been kept out of the ambit of the order since Supreme Court too is seized of the matter.”
“There are no checks. Marriages are on in Chandigarh and Punjab. High court orders are being flouted with impunity. There is no compliance,” the HC bench of justice AK Mittal and justice Amit Rawal observed, while directing enforcement agencies such as police, district authorities and state pollution control boards to ensure compliance of orders.
As per reports submitted by Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana before the high court, there was a considerable decrease in pollution levels on Diwali after the high court banned bursting of crackers. After the high court orders this year, authorities were allowed to issue only 20% of last year’s licences for setting up temporary cracker shops across both the states and Chandigarh.