Amid firecracker ban, traders look to sell via online portals

The decision comes a little over a week before the festival of lights when Delhi fills with acrid smoke from celebratory firecrackers set off day and night.

Diwali this year will be a less boisterous but - hopefully - much cleaner affair in and around the national capital as the Supreme Court on Monday banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1, nearly two weeks after the festival of lights is over.

Fireworks contribute to the pollution along with cars and crop-burning in neighbouring states. According to ban, firecracker manufactures will not be able to sell their products in Delhi-NCR till November 1, 2017.

India's Supreme Court hopes the ban will help improve air quality after thousands of schools were closed, cricket matches cancelled and residents warned to stay inside due to pollution.

Former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who ruled the city-state for nearly 15 years, on Tuesday said that the firecracker ban on Diwali will disappoint people as it is a "sentimental religious celebration".

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The government welcomed the move, with environment minister Harsh Vardhan requesting people to abide by the order.

Delhi traders said the order was a violation of their right to conduct business and would lead to "huge losses". Also, some reports are saying that this is not just for the people even for the Delhi air pollution which is rated "very poor" already before the Diwali.

At the time the court had said that a complete ban would be an "extreme step".

For those whose agenda of celebrating Diwali is only to burst firecrackers, have not arranged for the stock in advance and are residing in Delhi-NCR, they can still search different websites on the internet and try out their luck by ordering firecrackers online.

Last month, the top court had modified its September 2016 order to allow limited sales of firecrackers, imposing conditions and restricting the number of licenses.


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