In the National Capital Region, the NGT on Monday imposed a total ban on the sale & use of firecrackers in a bid to prevent COVID pandemic worsening and owing the poor air quality from midnight of Nov 9 to midnight of Nov 30.
A bench of National Green Tribunal headed by the chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said that order will also apply to the cities and area where average of air quality during November (as per the data of available of last year) falls in poor quality.
“The cities/towns where air quality is ‘moderate’ or below, only green crackers be sold & the timings for use & bursting of crackers be restricted to two hours during festivals, like Diwali, Chatt, New Year, Christmas, etc, as may be specified by the concerned state” the order stated.
All the states, Union Territories, Pollution Control Boards, & Pollution Control Committees may initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of the potential of aggravation of COVID, the order mentioned.
The Order added “The Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all the States & Union Territories may issue & circulate an appropriate order in above terms with appropriate enforcement guidelines to all the District Magistrates & Superintendents of Police, PCBs/PCCs. The CPCB & the State PCBs/PCCs may regularly monitor the air quality during this period which may be uploaded on their respective websites. CPCB may compile information on the subject, including the status of compliance of this order from all the States & UTs & file a consolidated report with data compiled till filing of the report, before the next date.”
The virus can cause more damage as per the expert’s views on the increase of air pollutionwith COVID, the NGT noted.
On the application filed by the Indian Social Responsibility Network through Santosh Gupta, the NGT was hearing the suo- motu plea, where Santosh Gupta raised the issue of air quality and increase in pollution by the use of firecrackers in the NCR at the time where the poor air quality has the potential of worsening the COVID pandemic.