NGT Bans Sale, Use of Firecrackers in Delhi-NCR from Tonight Till End November

In addition, in cities and towns where the air quality has been 'moderate' in November, only green crackers are permitted for a two-hour window during festivals.

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from the midnight of November 9 to the midnight of November 30.

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 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. 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 bench said.

The NGT 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.

On November 6, the Delhi government had decided to ban firecrackers in the national capital till November 30, 2020, and ramp up medical infrastructure in hospitals. The ban also covers green crackers. “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.

COVID-19 cases have been spiking in the national capital in recent days, with a record daily high of 7,745 new cases reported on Monday morning. The worsening air pollution in the city has lead to serious concern, since COVID-19 affects the respiratory system.

(With PTI inputs)