Only green crackers to be sold in Uttarakhand’s 6 major cities
In view of the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) directions amid Covid-19 pandemic and surge in levels of air pollution, the Uttarakhand government on Wednesday permitted the sale of only green crackers in six cities and restricted bursting of crackers for two hours on Diwali, Gurpurab and Chhath.
These six cities include Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Haldwani Rudrapur and Kashipur.
While the state government has fixed a time slot of 8pm to 10pm on Diwali and Gurpurab during which the crackers can be burst, green crackers can be used from 6am till 8am on Chhath.
“Only green crackers should be sold in Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Haldwani, Rudrapur and Kashipur. In these cities, crackers can be burst from 8pm to 10pm on Diwali and Gurpurab, and from 6am to 8am on Chhath,” the Uttarakhand government said.
The NGT had reserved its order on the issue of imposing a temporary ban on the use and sale of firecrackers across the country in a bid to protect vulnerable people from the increase of air pollution amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The NGT has directed cities and towns in India with ‘moderate’ air quality (or below) to only allow the sale of green crackers and restricted timings to burst them during festivals.
The NGT published its November 5 order on Monday that specified that average air quality for each city was to be calculated for November 2019 and then declared whether it was ‘poor’ or ‘moderate’ or otherwise. For NCR and those cities with ‘poor’ (or worse) air quality, the NGT directed a total ban on the sale and use of firecrackers from November 9-10, 2020 to the midnight of November 30-December 1, which would be reviewed thereafter.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) categorises AQI levels in the 0-50 range as good; 51-100 as satisfactory; 101-200 as moderate; 201-300 as poor; 301-400 as very poor. Green crackers have 30% lower emissions of toxic gases than traditional ones and they do not contain barium nitrate, a metal oxide that increases both air and noise pollution.