No Firecracker Other Than Green Crackers Bearing QR Code In The State Of West Bengal: Calcutta High Court
The Calcutta High Court has directed the State and the Pollution Control Board to ensure that there is no importation, sale or bursting of crackers other than the green crackers bearing QR Code in the state.
The bench of Justice Apurba Sinha Ray and Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed that all necessary steps shall be taken by the police authorities/PCB Officials to ensure only green crackers are burst during the festive season.
Advocate R. N. Chakraborty appearing for the petitioner had submitted that the directions given by the Apex Court in Arjun Gopal & Ors. vs. Union of India & Ors. have been flagrantly violated in the State of West Bengal.
He further argued that no mechanism has been formulated either by the State of West Bengal or by the State Pollution Control Board for ensuring sale and bursting of green crackers only which has resulted in severe noise and air pollution in the city and other parts of the State in previous years.
Hence, he prayed that there should be a total ban on the sale of crackers in the State.
On the other hand, Advocate Bihani appearing for the Pollution Control Board submitted that the Pollution Control Board has issued directions permitting sale and bursting of green crackers only in the State of West Bengal on specified dates.
Additional Government Pleader, Tapan Kumar Mukherjee, submitted that appropriate steps have been taken for implementation of the directions issued by the Court in its order dated November 3, 2021 and compliance report in that regard has been filed.
The Court noted that in Goutam Roy and Another v. The State of West Bengal and Others, the Apex Court while setting aside a direction on total ban of firecrackers recorded the mechanism in place for ensuring the sale and bursting of green crackers.
After recording the mechanism, the Apex Court remanded the matter before the High Court for considering the issue of implementation of the aforesaid mechanism.
Pursuant to the remand by the Apex Court, the High Court affixed responsibility for enforcement of the orders of the Apex Court as well as the NGT on the Home Secretary and the Commissioners and the Superintendent of Police of the concerned Districts in the State.
Counsels for Pollution Control Board and the State of West Bengal assured the Court that the directions given by the Apex Court in Goutam Roy and Another (Supra) as well as by the High Court shall be scrupulously implemented during the ensuing festive season.
In order to ensure the effective implementation of the aforesaid directions, the Court directed that no firecrackers other than green crackers bearing QR Code would be sold in the Bazi-Bazar which is proposed to be held in Kolkata.
The Court also directed the State Pollution Control Board and the State of West Bengal to undertake public awareness measures including issuance of advertisements in newspapers, announcements on radio/ television/social media platforms etc. to spread awareness with regard to restrictions on sale and bursting of crackers during festive season and its beneficial impact on pollution and environment.
"We hope and trust that the festival of lights does not become a cause for concern where the demon of pollution poisons our air and leads to irreparable damage to the health of the population at large.", the Court held.
Cause Title- Sabuj Mancha & Anr. v. The State of West Bengal & Ors.