Indian court bans firecracker sales in smog-hit Delhi
India’s top court ordered a temporary ban on the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi yesterday, after air quality reached crisis levels in the world’s most polluted capital. The order came weeks after the Supreme Court criticized the federal government for failing to do more to tackle pollution, which it described as a “public health emergency”. “(The) Supreme Court directs suspension of licenses for possessing, stocking and selling firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region till further orders,” the court said.
It also ordered the Central Pollution Control Board, a government body, to study the harmful effects of materials used in firecrackers and report back within the next three months.
Air quality in Delhi plummeted earlier this month as millions of people set off heavily polluting firecrackers to celebrate the Diwali festival, exacerbating existing problems from the burning of crop stubble in neighboring states. The concentration of PM2.5 — the fine particles linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease-reached “hazardous” levels in the first 10 days of November. — AFP
NEW YORK: In this Nov 21, 2016 photo, Dunia Sibomana (9) left, plays with Annabelle Chaix, 9, at their house in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The Congolese boy who was severely disfigured in a chimpanzee attack is marveling doctors a year after reconstructive surgery in New York. His host father, Kim Chaix, says Dunia was shy and withdrawn when he arrived, but is now flourishing socially. — AP
NEW DELHI: In this 2016 file photo, Indians walk to work as Delhi traffic police officers manage an intersection enveloped by smoke and smog, on the morning following Diwali festival in New Delhi. — AP