With a host of festivities including Diwali, Kali Puja, and Chhat Puja around the corner several states and UT governments have decided to impose a ban on firecrackers and its sale ahead due to the increasing air pollution and coronavirus crisis in the country.
Notably, today the National Green Tribunal (NGT) took upon its sleeve and imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from the midnight of November 9 to the midnight of November 30, in addition to this So far total 8 states have imposed a ban on the sale of firecrackers.
However, A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified this notice is for all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) fell under the ‘poor’ and above categories. But for the cities/towns where air quality is ‘moderate’ or below, only green crackers be sold, and the timings for use and bursting of crackers be restricted to two hours during festivals like Diwali, Chhath, New Year/Christmas Eve, etc., as may be specified by the state concerned.
Further, they added, “At other places, ban/restrictions are optional for the authorities but if there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail.”
Delhi is currently in the middle of a third wave and recorded more than 7,000 cases in a day – the second time in three days. Over this period, air quality in the National Capital Region has remained “severe” – known to affect healthy people and severely impact those with existing diseases.
Amid the Covid19 the use of firecrackers may badly impact the health of those who have already been infected.
Therefore Increased pollution may further affect the vulnerable groups and increase the fatality rate. COVID-19 cases in Delhi may go up to 15,000 per day, as against the current cases of about 5,000 per day.
The smoke will choke and may create a gas chamber like situation. It will lead to poor visibility, hazy conditions, and asphyxia
The NGT also directed all states and Union Territories to initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources because of the potential of aggravation of COVID-19.
The order also directs the central and state pollution control boards to regularly monitor and compile data “during this period”, put it on their websites, and “file a consolidated report”.