Ahead of the NGT order on firecracker ban, here’s what different states have done
Amid the ongoing festival season and rising cases of Covid-19, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is expected to pronounce its order on firecracker ban on Monday.
Reserving its order on November 5, it had issued notice to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and four state governments on whether use of firecrackers be banned from November 7-30 in the interest of public health and environment.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel had sought response from MoEF, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Police Commissioner of Delhi and the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The tribunal was hearing a plea by Indian Social Responsibility Network seeking action against pollution by use of firecrackers in NCR during the time air quality is unsatisfactory with potential of severity of Covid-19 pandemic.
Different states have made different rules with respect to bursting and selling of firecrackers. Ahead of the NGT order, here’s a look at what various states have done:
1. Delhi: The Delhi government has imposed a blanket ban on firecrackers, including those branded green between November 7 and 30.
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2. Karnataka: After announcing a ban on the sale and use of firecrackers, the Karnataka government backtracked and said that people are allowed to sell and use green firecrackers during Diwali.
3. West Bengal: The Calcutta High Court had banned the use and sale of firecrackers on Kali Puja, Chhath and Kartik Puja to curb pollution amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The same guidelines will be followed for Diwali.
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4. Sikkim: The Sikkim government has imposed a complete ban on firecrackers throughout the state from November 4 until further orders.
5. Odisha: The Odisha government banned the sale and use of firecrackers across the state from November 10 to 30.
6. Rajasthan: The Rajasthan government put a blanket ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers, announcing a penalty of Rs 2,000 on anyone found violating the order.
7. Haryana: The Haryana government has permitted the bursting of firecrackers for only two hours — between 8 pm and 10 pm — on Diwali, in the state.
8. Maharashtra: The Uddhav Thackeray led Maharashtra government has not banned firecrackers but has appealed to the people to refrain from using them in the interest of health and safety of all.
9. Punjab: The Punjab government has told NGT that a ban on firecrackers is not required for the state and on Diwali bursting of crackers is allowed only between 8pm to 10pm.