India court bans fireworks in Delhi after Diwali smog

India’s Supreme Court has stopped the sale of firecrackers in the capital, Delhi, and directed authorities to study their “harmful effects”.

The decision was in response to a petition filed on behalf of three infants on the grounds that their lungs were not developed enough to handle the increasing pollution in the city.

Huge quantities of fireworks were set off during Diwali in October.

Diwali is the most important Hindu festival in north India.

Delhi, with 16 million people, is one of the world’s most polluted cities.

On Friday, the Supreme Court suspended the “possession, stocking and selling” of fireworks in Delhi and its neighbouring suburbs “until further orders”.

The court also directed pollution control authorities to “study harmful effects of materials used in firecrackers in three months”.

 

Pollution in Delhi increased to nearly 10 times the safe level after this year’s Diwali celebrations, causing panic and outrage.

Residents awoke from a night of colourful fireworks to find the city covered in a thick grey blanket of smog.

There have been several campaigns in the past asking people to use fewer fireworks during the festival, but these have not been met with much success.