In view of the deteriorating air quality, the National Green Tribunal has on Monday imposed a total ban on the sale/use of all kinds of firecrackers in Delhi NCR from the midnight of November 9 till the midnight of November 30.
Further, the NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction will also apply to all the cities/towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per the available date of last year) fall under ‘poor’ and above category.
“The cities/towns where air quality is ‘moderate’ or below, only green crackers be sold, and the timings for use and bursting of crackers be restricted to two hours during festivals like Diwali, Chhath, New Year/Christmas Eve etc., as may be specified by the state concerned,” sources quoted the observation made by the bench led by Goel.
“At other places, ban/restrictions are optional for the authorities but if there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail,” it added.
The NGT also directed all the states and Union Territories to launch special drives to curb air pollution from all sources in view of the potential of aggravation of coronavirus. Currently, the state governments have their own set of guidelines with regard to permitting/banning the sale and use of firecrackers during the festive season.
At a time when the national capital is witnessing a spike in the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, bursting of firecrackers can aggravate breathing issues thereby making people vulnerable to the infection which targets lungs. Therefore, on Thursday, the Arvind Kejriwal led-Delhi government had decided to ban the use of firecrackers, as it was directly proportional to the sharp rise in the national capital’s daily coronavirus tally.
“In the wake of the rising pollution and coronavirus cases in Delhi due to the festival season, the Delhi government has decided to put a complete ban on the sale, purchase, and use of firecrackers in the city from November 7 to November 30,” the Delhi government said in a statement.