*Representational Picture

The top court has said it would examine whether there should be a total ban on the use of firecrackers as it noted that air pollution reached hazardous proportions during Diwali. 

The Supreme Court said around 20-25 percent of children in Delhi city suffer from respiratory problems due to abnormally high levels of pollution during the Diwali festival. 

"Are we supposed to take a holistic approach and ban everything that contributes to pollution or take an ad-hoc approach and simply ban firecrackers?" a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked.

Also, the court pointed out that air pollution posed a major threat to infants and the toxicity of the air increased exponentially after the burning of crackers.

Appearing for a firecracker manufacturer referred to studies and said, the effect of the ban on crackers on air pollution has been meagre and that there should be a scientific study on the issue.

The matter was listed for hearing on August 8.

The top court had last year banned the sale of firecrackers for a limited period while hearing a plea filed by three minors through their guardian.

The court had refused to relax its October 9 order banning the sale of firecrackers while dismissing a plea by traders who had sought its permission to sell crackers for at least a day or two before Diwali on October 19, 2017. 

It had said that its ban order during Diwali that year was an experiment to examine its effect on the pollution level in the region

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