The apex court bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu and Justice Arun Mishra asked the Centre and other authorities to start publicity campaign both in print and electronic media on the harmful impact of firecrackers during the festival season from October 31 to November 12.

The court reiterated its earlier order of 2005, prohibiting bursting of firecrackers during night hours from 10.00 pm to 6 am "When we passed our October 16 order, we intended it to be carried out and advertisements published continuously," the court observed as Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the bench that advertisements were ready and would be published before Diwali.

Apparently unimpressed by the submission, the bench questioned the efficacy of such advertisements. "You publish (the advertisements) one fine morning. When we passed that order, we intended it to be published continuously."

The court said the advertisement campaign would now begin from October 31.The apex court by its October 16 order directed the central and state governments to give wide publicity, both in print and electronic media, to the ill effects of fireworks and advise the people accordingly.

That order also directed "teachers/lecturers/assistant professors/professors of schools and colleges to educate students about the ill effects of the fireworks". As senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for a toddler-petitioner, urged the court to direct that people should burst firecrackers at a common ground, Chief Justice Dattu said, "We can't say that all those who want to burst firecrackers should go to Nehru Ground."

Three toddlers - six-month-olds Arjun Gopal and Aarav Bhandari and 14-month-old Zoya Rao Bhasin - moved the apex court to seek a ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers during Dussehra and Diwali celebrations as it aggravated the already dangerous air pollution level and harmed them. 

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