National Green Tribunal enforces a total ban on firecrackers from November 9 until November 30 in all districts of the National Capital Region, and those cities across India that have “poor” or worse air. However, green crackers will be allowed for 2 hours in places with “moderate air”.
The ban has come into force just days ahead of Diwali to prevent the air quality in Delhi from exacerbating, which is already in the “severe” zone. If firecrackers are permitted it would be disastrous, feels the tribunal.
The order will apply to more than 12 districts across four states that form a part of the NCR.
Other cities and towns across the nation are also not immune to the dictate where the average ambient air quality in November last year was “poor” or worse”, the green tribunal has said.
Only green crackers, which are considered to be less polluting will be allowed to be sold in cities and towns where air quality is “moderate”. The tribunal also ordered to put a cap on the timing of use that will be of two hours as specified by the state “due to Covid-19”.
“If nothing is specified, timing will be 8-10 pm on Diwali and Gurupurb, 6 am-8 am on Chhatt and 11.55 pm-12.30 am during Christmas and New Year’s eve,” the order read.
NGT also added that if there are “more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail”. Few states have already banned the bursting of crackers this Diwali even before today’s order. These states include Sikkim, West Bengal, Rajasthan, and Delhi.
The order also directs the central and state pollution control boards to closely monitor and compile data “during this period”, put it on their websites, and “file a consolidated report”.