New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed the Centre and the AAP government to hold consultations to frame a policy to regulate the burning of Ravan effigies during Dussehra. A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and A K Chawla issued the direction on a fresh PIL by an auto driver seeking directions to the authorities to prevent large-scale burning of effigies in the national capital.
You (the Centre and the Delhi government) don’t want the people to breath in the Ravan as well. You must regulate it (burning of effigies). Else why 10,000 effigies, you can have as many Ravans as there are in society. Come up with a regulation that you can have it only in a certain designated area of a specified size. There has to be some regulation, the court said.
The observation came after the petitioner, K K Rai, told the court that in his district, having an area larger than Delhi, only one Ravan effigy was burnt, but here in the national capital more than 10,000 are set on fire every year.
Agreeing with the petitioner, that it was necessary to regulate burning of Ravan effigies, the court asked both the Delhi government and the Centre to file affidavits, before the next date of hearing on November 22, indicating the steps taken by them to come out with the policy.
The bench directed framing of the regulations to be implemented before next year’s Dussehra as it was too late to do anything this year. The central government, represented by its standing counsel, Ajay Digpaul, told the court it was taking steps, like introducing a scheme to reduce crop burning, shutting down the Badarpur thermal power plant, deploying mechanised road sweeping machines and using water sprinklers, to bring down pollution levels in the national capital.
Mr. Digpaul placed before the bench a brief note which claimed that there has been a reduction in PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels due to the steps taken by the Centre. PM 2.5 and PM 10 are ultrafine particulate matter having the ability to enter the respiratory system and subsequently the bloodstream of humans and animals, causing harm.
The fresh PIL against large scale burning of Ravan effigies was filed in an ongoing batch of petitions on the issue of air pollution and in which the court has from time to time issued directions to improve the air quality in the national capital.
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