New Delhi, Oct 18: The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and state governments to educate people about the ill effects of crackers and advise them not to use fireworks.
"The union governments and all the state governments will give wide publicity both in print and electronic media to the ill effects of fireworks and advise people accordingly.
"We also direct the teachers/ lecturers/ assistant professors/professors of the schools and colleges to educate the students about the ill-effects of the fireworks," a bench of Chief Justice H L Dattu and Amitava Roy said.
The apex court further directed the Centre to consult the departments concerned on the issue and come out with their response within a week to suggestions given by senior advocate A M Singhvi, who was appearing for infant petitioners who had moved the court against the use of loud fire-crackers.
Singhvi has suggested that there must be a restriction window limiting the cracker bursting time between 7 PM and 9 PM and regulation of licences for hazardous fireworks.
He has also suggested that the government should give wide publicity to the ill effects of fireworks and encourage their responsible use. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the apex court that the Union government has already taken enough and effective steps to give wide publicity to the ill effects of fireworks.
The court was hearing a petition, filed by the fathers on behalf of three infants aged between six and 14 months, who had stressed on their right to be brought up in a pollution- free environment and sought that government agencies be restrained from issuing licence for sale of crackers in the national capital.
The plea had said the widespread use of firecrackers in Delhi during the festive season exposed vulnerable infants to severe diseases such as asthma and worsens lung condition.
"They are foremost prone to lung disease, asthma, coughing, bronchitis, retarded nervous system development and cognitive impairment," the infant petitioners had submitted.