Chennai: Taking a tough stand in view of deteriorating air quality, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region from 9 November midnight of 30 November. It has decided to put similar restrictions in places where air quality falls in ‘poor’, ‘very poor’, ‘severe’ categories.
The NGT said that the directions will be applicable to all those cities where the air quality in November, as per last year’s data, fell under the poor or worse than poor 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,” the bench said.
“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.
As per the decision pronounced today, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the firecracker ban would also apply to other cities and towns in the country where the air quality in November fell under ‘poor’, ‘very poor’ or ‘severe’ categories.
On 2 November, the NGT had issued a notice to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and four State governments asking whether the use of firecrackers should be banned from 7 to 30 November in the interest of public health and environment.
The tribunal said cities and towns where the air quality was ‘moderate’ or below, only green crackers should be sold and the timings for use and bursting of crackers be restricted to two hours during festivals.