The apex court modified its earlier order of fixing an 8-10 pm slot for bursting crackers on Diwali, saying the time would be changed in southern states like Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, but not exceed the two-hour duration. Diwali falls on November 6 in the state.
"The order has come just now. The government will decide accordingly after consulting all (stakeholders)," Chief Minister K Palaniswami told reporters in Madurai.
Senior police officials told PTI that the modalities would be decided shortly and the apex court order would be implemented. They, however, declined to divulge information on the ways in which the order would be carried out.
Chennai-based environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman welcomed the apex court order on the two-hour slot, but said its enforcement and awareness were the key aspects. "I do not know how it is going to be enforced. Also, its success will depend on the kind of awareness that the state is going to take up."
The top court's order came on several applications filed by the state government and fireworks manufacturers, seeking modification and clarification of its October 23 order.
On Monday, the state government urged the apex court to allow bursting of firecrackers between 4.30-6.30 am on Diwali morning in accordance with religious practices in the state, besides the already permitted 8-10 pm period.
Diwali is celebrated in the state early in the morning to commemorate the death of Narakasura, it pointed out.
The state government had contended that each state or sect has a separate set of beliefs and traditions as far as Diwali celebrations are concerned and the restriction would amount to "rejecting the people with their due religious rights and would subject the people of the state into much hardship".