A total ban on sale or use of any kind of firecrackers will be imposed in the NCR from the midnight of November 9 to the midnight of November 30, a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on November 9 stated.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction will apply to 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.
As per the order, the ban on crackers is also applicable to all cities/towns in the country where air quality during November falls under 'poor' and above category.
It further directed that, 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, Chatt, New Year/Christmas Eve etc., as may be specified by the concerned State.
If nothing is specified by the State, timing will be 8 to 10 pm on Diwali and Gurpurab, 6 am to 8 am on Chatt and 11.55 pm to 12.30 am during Christmas and New year eve (which have yet to come and do not fall in November but if ban continues) and not otherwise, the bench said.
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"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," the bench said.
The NGT has directed all states and Union Territories to initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of the potential of aggravation of COVID-19.(With inputs from PTI)