In a bid to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from worsening owing to poor air quality, the National Green Tribunal on Monday imposed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the National Capital Region from midnight of November 9 to midnight of November 30.
A bench of the NGT, headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, directed that the order will also 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) falls under ‘poor’ or worse 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, Chatt, New Year, Christmas, etc, as may be specified by the concerned state,” the order said.
The NGT said that restrictions are optional for the authorities at other places, but added that if there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail.
The tribunal, in its order, also said that all the states, Union Territories, Pollution Control Boards, and Pollution Control Committees may initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of the potential of aggravation of COVID-19.
“The Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all the States and Union Territories may issue and circulate an appropriate order in above terms with appropriate enforcement guidelines to all the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police, PCBs/PCCs,” the order said.