Babies petition court

NEW DELHI: Three babies have been  named on a petition urging India’s top court to ban air-polluting  fireworks in New Delhi, saying the city’s choking smog poses a “clear  and present danger” to their health.

The parents of the three babies,  all residents of the world’s most polluted capital aged six months and  under, argue that they have a constitutional right to breathe clean air —  a hot topic ahead of UN-led talks in Paris on reducing greenhouse gas  emissions.

They say children are particularly vulnerable to air  pollution, which can cause a range of problems from lung disease to  retarded development of the nervous system, and want the court to ban  the sale and use of smoke-belching firecrackers.

India’s Supreme Court  allows minors to file petitions through their parents where there is a  threat to their fundamental rights.

The petition was filed on Tuesday,  six weeks before the Hindu festival of light known as Diwali, when Delhi  neighbourhoods traditionally fill with acrid smoke from celebratory  firecrackers set off day and night.