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NGT bans firecrackers in areas with poor air quality

The National green Tribunal (NGT) said that there is going to be a total ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers between November 10 to November 30. This direction will be applicable to all the cities and towns across the nation where the average air quality in November fell to “poor”.

NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar headed a bench which directed that only green crackers will be allowed to sell in the areas across the nation where the ambient air quality fell under ‘moderate’ or below category. In such areas, the timings of use and bursting of green crackers will be limited to only two hours. To calculate the average ambient air quality, the green panel will take into account the data from November last year in both the cases where the average air quality is moderate or poor.

The Tribunal also noted in its order that in a bid to protect the elderly, children and persons with co-morbidities, states like Sikkim, Rajasthan, Odisha, Chandigarh and Delhi have already prohibited the sale and use of firecrackers.

Many states had requested the panel to allow green crackers. In a response to that, the bench said that the request is justified in places where the average air quality is moderate or below but in places where average air quality is poor or above. Allowance of crackers in such places may lead to deaths and diseases which should be avoided even if there is a financial loss.

The Bench added that since we know that the pollution increases the spread of the novel coronavirus, so not only crackers should be banned or restricted in areas with poor air quality but also all State pollution control boards and committees must take some special initiatives in order to contain to limit the air pollution by controlling all other factors which cause it.

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