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SC to hear plea on banning firecrackers across country

Published on 02 Dec 2017 by Team

Image courtesy - apnlive.com

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a plea seeking a slew of directions to curb the menace of pollution, including ban on firecrackers across the country and sale of new diesel vehicles in the national capital region (NCR) and other 13 most polluted cities. 

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan issued notice and sought the Centre's response on the petition which also sought direction to the government to remove import duty on electric cars and hybrid vehicles. The apex court has been examining the rising pollution levels in the NCR for many years and had passed directions from time to time to deal with the crisis. 

The apex court had ordered a ban on sale of firecrackers during Diwali in October and is examining measures to be taken to prevent stubble burning in neighbouring states of Delhi, which has emerged as a primary cause for deterioration in air quality in the NCR during winter. 
As the pollution levels are reaching alarming levels, the petitioners, on whose plea firecrackers were banned in Delhi, sought additional directions from the apex court to make air in the NCR breathable. They told the bench that all fossil-fuel oriented plants in the country should introduce fuel gas desulfurisation and other techniques to reduce the discharge of pollutants from the smoke. 

"Direct the government to invoke its powers under Essential Commodities Act to revise and control the price of diesel for private transport vehicles so that it is on par with petrol and not incentivise for private vehicles owners. Direct the Centre not to impose any import duty on electric and hybrid vehicles or in the alternative substantially reduce the import duty on them," the petition said. 

They have also sought direction to the Punjab government to control stubble burning in the state and a special team be constituted by the state to monitor and take action in case of burning of farm waste. As per a report, around 35 million tons of stubble is burnt every year around September-October in Punjab and Haryana. "In the interim period, direct the meteorological department and the Punjab government to advise farmers on safe windows for burning crops with strict penal action taken against those who transgress," the petition said. 

Source – Times of India

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