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Bombay High Court Modifies Firecracker Regulations in Mumbai Amid Air Quality Concerns

In response to rising air pollution concerns, the Bombay High Court has modified its previous order on firecracker usage in Mumbai, limiting the permissible time for bursting crackers to between 8 pm and 10 pm during Diwali. The decision comes after an earlier allowance for three hours, from 7 pm to 10 pm, was granted on November 6 within the limits of all municipal authorities in Maharashtra.

Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice G S Kulkarni expressed concern over the declining air quality in critical areas of Mumbai, emphasizing the need to avoid a situation similar to Delhi. The court acknowledged ongoing efforts but deemed it necessary to further address the emergent and drastic situation.

The revised order restricts the time for bursting crackers to 8 pm to 10 pm and upholds the ban on the entry of vehicles transporting debris in the city until November 19. Municipal corporations will decide on allowing such vehicles after the specified date, taking the air quality index into consideration.

During the hearing, the court highlighted the recurring nature of air pollution issues and called for a comprehensive study by experts to identify the causes and implement effective mitigation measures. The court emphasized the importance of constant monitoring and noted that the government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) should fulfill their duties in managing pollution levels.

Advocate General Birendra Saraf assured the court that the state government has been actively working to address air quality concerns, and the air quality index has reached satisfactory levels, partly due to recent spells of rain. The court, while acknowledging these efforts, stressed the need for continuous executive action.

The bench also expressed concern over the high number of construction sites flouting pollution control norms and called for the establishment of a committee with experts to address the issue. The court, which had previously formed a committee on November 6, added a retired bureaucrat as its third member on Friday, aiming to receive daily reports from all municipal corporations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and submitting a weekly report to the court.

The matter is scheduled for further hearing on December 11, with the court emphasizing the executive’s responsibility in managing pollution and enforcing regulations.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

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