Delhi bans sale, use, storage of firecrackers this Diwali
Delhi government on Wednesday announced a “complete ban” on the sale, use and storage of firecrackers in the Capital this Diwali. This pre-emptive ban was imposed in view of the city’s deteriorating air quality over the past three years, said chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in a series of tweets.
“Taking into consideration the deteriorating pollution levels in Delhi over the last three years around Diwali time, like last year it has been decided that the storage, sale and use of firecrackers has been completely banned. This has been done to save people’s lives,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
In another tweet, the Delhi CM added that the decision has been taken early this year to help traders avoid losses. “Last year, the complete ban was imposed late, after looking at the rising pollution levels in the city. Because of this traders had already bought stock and they had to face losses. This time, traders are requested not to stock up on crackers,” he added.
It was unclear if the ban would be in place only during Diwali or would stretch for the entire winter season, when pollution levels peak.
Last year, the Delhi government faced heavy criticism from cracker traders in the city for imposing the ban just days ahead of Diwali, when licences had been procured and crackers had already been stocked up for sale, resulting in losses for traders. The government had imposed a complete ban on the sale and use of crackers, including the green varient in November last year.
Later this ban was also reiterated by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), which said that sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in Delhi and adjoining areas will be prohibited starting midnight of November 9 to midnight of November 30, 2020. Looking at the deterioration air quality of the national capital in December last year, the NGT extended the ban to Christmas and New Year’s.