Bihar State Pollution Control Board asks DMs to ban firecrackers in four cities
In the cities other than the four districts where the crackers have been completely banned, the State Pollution Control Board has allowed only green cracker and that it can used on Diwali for two hours from 8 pm to 10 pm.
The Bihar State Pollution Control Board has sent a letter to the district magistrates (DMs) of four cities, including Patna, Gaya, Muzaffarpur and Hajipur, seeking a complete ban over the sale and use of firecrackers on Diwali.
In the letter sent on October 21, the pollution control board informed that during a survey after Diwali last year, even the contents of arsenic, lead and nickel were found to be much higher than the general standards in the air in these cities apart from the high level of Coarse Particulate Matter (PM 10), Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and Sulphur dioxide (SO2). These contents are very harmful to human health as these cause diseases like bronchitis and breathing problems.
The letter says that as the National Green Tribunal (NGT), a special tribunal created by the Union government to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases related to environmental issues, has directed that the sale and use of firecrackers be completely banned in the cities where air quality index is poor and very poor and that the licence for the sale of firecrackers also be cancelled, the local administration should ensure effective implementation of the ban.
Except for the four cities, the pollution board has allowed all other cities in Bihar to use only green crackers for two hours from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali.
“This year no new licence for the sale of firecrackers will be issued in Patna, Muzaffarpur, Gaya and Hajipur and even the licences issued earlier would remain cancelled, as per the directions of the NGT. The step is taken considering the poor air quality found in these cities last Diwali,” S Chandrashekhar, member secretary, BSPCB, said.
Last year also firecrackers were completely banned in Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur. This year, there are four cities on this list, he added.
The member secretary said all the DMs and SPs have been sent the letter to ensure effective implementation of the ban.
“We have also asked the DMs and SPs to provide the board the action taken report on the licences issued earlier and the number of cancelled licenses, raids made on the shops selling firecrackers and the number of shops sealed for illegally selling firecrackers,” he said.
Dr Ashok Ghosh, chairman, BSPCB, said that a complete ban on firecrackers is far more important this year. “In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic mainly affected the lungs and respiratory system of the people. Though people have recovered, they are still at the risk because of weak lungs,” he said