Supreme Court has banned fireworks in the capital Delhi, in the run-up to Diwali, the festival of lights.
Delhi tops among the list of most polluted cities of India and the Supreme Court wants to test if banning fireworks will make a difference to the city’s air quality.
The ban on the sale and distribution of firecrackers will last until November 1. Diwali is on October 20. Diwali, an important Hindu festival in India, celebrates the victory of good over evil.
The Supreme Court order came in response to several petitions, asking for a restoration of the ban it had first ordered in November 2016, before temporarily lifting it in September.
It had said at the time that a complete ban would be an “extreme step”.
India’s Central Pollution Control Board told the court it also wanted the ban to be restored.
However those who have already bought fireworks will be able to set them off.
Last year’s ban on the “possession, stocking and selling” of fireworks was ordered only after Diwali, when the city’s air quality had already reached hazardous levels.
The pollution level was appalling when Delhi government was forced to shut all schools for three days due to the choking smog the hovered over the city last June.
Several environment groups campaigned among the people of Delhi urging them to use fewer fireworks during the festival of light, but very few paid heed.