Air pollution is an urgent global problem that affects the health and well-being of people across regions and borders. To tackle this challenge, it is essential to implement a comprehensive order on air pollution and firecrackers that applies to all states, not just Delhi. This proactive approach seeks to address the collective responsibility of reducing the harmful impacts of air pollution and creating a healthy environment for ourselves and future generations. By doing so, we can also contribute to the global efforts to combat climate change, which is exacerbated by the emissions of greenhouse gases and particulate matter from burning fossil fuels and firecrackers. Moreover, we can improve the quality of life and well-being of millions of people who suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular diseases due to exposure to polluted air. Therefore, it is in our best interest to follow the order and refrain from using firecrackers, especially during festivals and celebrations. Instead, we can find alternative ways to express our joy and gratitude that are more eco-friendly and respectful of the environment and other living beings.
THE NATIONAL SCENARIO
Many states are affected by air pollution, which is caused by various sources such as vehicles, industries, and farming. A national-level plan is required to tackle this issue, taking into account the specific difficulties of each state. This involves actions to limit emissions, encourage eco-friendly transportation, and oversee industrial activities that pollute the air.
THE IMPACT OF FIRECRACKERS
Air pollution worsens when firecrackers are used in festivals, adding more particles and gases that are bad for health. Some regions, like Delhi, have banned firecrackers in festivals, but a country-wide policy is needed to make the rules consistent. This means supporting green options, educating people about the damage to the environment, and applying tough rules to reduce the use of dangerous firecrackers. Firecrackers have a complex impact on the environment and public health. Apart from the brief display of light and sound, the burning of firecrackers emits various pollutants into the air. These include particulate matter, heavy metals, and toxic gases that degrade the air quality and threaten respiratory health. Moreover, the noise pollution caused by firecrackers can harm wildlife, pets, and people who are sensitive to loud noises. Besides, the firecracker debris that remains after the celebration adds to the environmental pollution, affecting the quality of soil and water. Understanding the extensive effects of firecracker use highlights the need for strict regulations and joint efforts to reduce their impact and foster a cleaner, healthier environment.
HOW THE SUPREME COURT’S ORDER ON FIRECRACKERS CAN HELP REDUCE AIR POLLUTION AND PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH.
Air pollution is one of the most serious environmental and health challenges facing India today. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), India is home to 14 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities, and more than a million people die every year due to exposure to ambient and household air pollution. One of the major sources of air pollution in India is the bursting of firecrackers during festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, and New Year’s Eve. Firecrackers emit large amounts of particulate matter (PM), which are tiny particles that can enter the lungs and bloodstream and cause various diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, stroke, and heart attack. Firecrackers also release harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and Sulphur dioxide, which can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and aggravate respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. In addition, firecrackers cause noise pollution, which can affect the hearing, sleep, and mental health of people, especially children, elderly, and animals.
To address these issues, the Supreme Court of India has issued several orders over the years to regulate the use of firecrackers and reduce their environmental and health impacts. The most recent order was issued on November 7, 2023, in which the court clarified that its previous directions on banning the use of barium and prohibited chemicals in firecrackers, and limiting their noise levels, are applicable to the entire country, and not just to Delhi-NCR. The court also said that there is no total ban on the use of firecrackers, but only those firecrackers that are found to be injurious to health are banned. The court also directed the state governments to take appropriate steps to control air and noise pollution, and to sensitize the public about the harmful effects of firecrackers and the need to celebrate in an eco-friendly manner.
The Supreme Court’s order on firecrackers is a positive step towards reducing air pollution and protecting public health in India. It is also in line with the constitutional duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment, as enshrined in Article 51A(g) of the Constitution of India. By complying with the court’s order, we can not only celebrate our festivals with joy and enthusiasm but also with responsibility and respect for our planet and fellow beings.
Air pollution is a problem for everyone in the country and we need to work together to solve it. A full order that applies to all states can help us tackle the main causes of air pollution and make a brighter and cleaner future for all of us. We need a shared plan that goes over regional boundaries and puts the health of the whole nation above everything else. To sum up, air pollution is a national issue that needs a group effort. By putting in place a complete order that applies to all states, we can deal with the root causes of air pollution and work for a healthier and more sustainable future for all people. It is time for a joint approach that goes past regional borders and puts the well-being of the whole nation first. This order will also control the use of firecrackers during festivals, which are a big source of air pollution and a danger to public health and safety.