Taking a tough stand in view of deteriorating air quality, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has 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.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction will apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) fell under the ‘poor’ and above categories.
The bench said, “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.”
It added: “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.”
The tribunal also directed all States and Union Territories to initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of the potential of aggravation of Covid-19. While finding solution to pollution is very important, traditions and livelihood of lakhs of workers involved in the manufacturing of firecrackers are also to be considered.