NGT bans sale and use of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till Nov 30, Haryana allows limited use
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region from midnight of November 9 to November 30 midnight. The NGT order further said that the ban will be applicable in cities and towns where the air quality is in “poor” category, according to news agency ANI.
The NGT further added that in cities or towns where the air quality is “moderate” or below, only green fire crackers will be sold and the time duration of bursting them will be restricted to two hours during festivals such as Diwali, Chhath, New Year/Christmas Eve as may be specified by the state, ANI reported.
Currently, the state governments have their own set of guidelines with regard to permitting/banning the sale and use of firecrackers during the festive season.
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The Arvind Kejriwal led-Delhi government, at a meeting on Thursday, had decided to ban the use of firecrackers as it was directly proportional to the sharp rise in the national capital’s daily coronavirus tally. At a time when the national capital is witnessing a spike in the number of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, bursting of firecrackers can aggravate breathing issues thereby making people vulnerable to the infection which targets lungs.
On Sunday, Delhi recorded the biggest ever jump of 7,745 Covid-19 cases and 77 deaths which pushed the tally and death toll to 438,529 and 6,989 respectively. Experts have suggested the state government should ramp up its testing as there is already a third wave of the outbreak prevailing and the situation could worsen with 15,000 cases being logged in a single day.
Meanwhile, the Haryana government allowed the use of firecrackers between 8 pm till 10 pm on Diwali and Gurupurab, and 11.55 pm till 12.30 am on Christmas and New Year’s eve.
Apart from firecrackers, the rising pollution levels in the Delhi-NCR can also be attributed to the excessive stubble burning.
Watch: Heavy smog In Delhi as air quality remains in ‘severe’ category
Delhi’s air quality index (AQI) continued to remain in the severe category for the fifth consecutive day. The AQI at 6 am on Monday was 459 and the minimum temperature recorded at 8.30 am was 10 degrees Celsius.
An AQI between the range of 301 and 400 and 401 to 500 is considered to be in the “very poor” and “severe” category, respectively.