(Image source from: NDTV.Com)
SC Refuses To Relax Ban On Sale Of Delhi Firecrackers:- The Supreme Court, refused to relax ban on its October 9 order, on the sale of firecracker in Delhi and NCR this Diwali. It further expressed anguish that a communal twist was being given to its order.
“We are pained to hear that some people are giving the order a communal color. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a very spiritual person in such matters,” said Justice A.K. Sikri. Sikri along with two other judges authored the October 9 ban.
Justice Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan, refusing to revisit the ban order, said: “We are not entering into any debate and none of the religious considerations had influenced our ban order. “The court has not stopped the people from celebrating the Diwali festival.”
Such statements of the court come, as one of the petitioners said that Diwali was not only celebrated by the Hindus but also by Jains and Sikhs. In an effort to check pollution, the Supreme Court, slapped a temporary ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR region during Diwali.
And now, due to the ban on the sale of firecrackers, the future for the Rs 4000 crore firework industry, seems to be going up in smoke. The industry is headquartered in the small taluk of Sivakasi in Southern Tamil Nadu. Lakhs of daily wage laborers have been dealt a crippling blow. They are employed as box makers, package loaders and fireworks makers.
(Image Source: News18.com)
A firework manufacturer and general secretary of Tamil Nadu fireworks and manufacturers association, Mr. K. Marripan said that after SC banned sale of crackers in Delhi in November last year, the industry had already reduced its production by 30%.
The cracker industry’s business is constituted by one-fourth of the Delhi-NCR market.
“Demonetisation was a bigger threat to us than the Supreme Court verdict. However, the court banning our largest market is not right. We abide by central pollution control board noise pollution levels but there is no prescribed standard,” said Marriappan.
Around 500 temporary licenses to trades were granted by a two-judge SC bench in September to allow them to exhaust their stock. But later, the order was overturned with the apex court hoping to avoid the toxic haze over the capital like last year.
“Our dealers in Delhi-NCR region have goods worth hundreds of crores stocked up and are unable to sell,” Marriappan added.
Several factory owners are uncertain about reopening their business in 2018, with Maharashtra and a few other state governments also considering a ban on the sale of fireworks. Both directly and indirectly, the cracker industry supports 1.75 lakh laborers.
Anand Murugan, a laborer, said, “The government or the court needs to help us. Today it’s Delhi, tomorrow it may be a ban across the country. What about our future? We don’t have any other skills. For decades, we have been working in fireworks factories. Agriculture in this part of India is also not profitable.”