The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a total ban on 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.
A complete ban has been imposed in Delhi to prevent the air quality which is now in the "severe" zone from getting worse.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel also 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.
In places where the air quality falls in the "moderate" category, the NGT has permitted useage of "green crackers" with a time restriction of two hours. Selling of non-green crackers has also been banned across the country.
The development comes days after Delhi government decided to ban firecrackers in the national capital and ramp up medical infrastructure in hospitals, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said after a review of the COVID-19 situation.
"Reviewed corona situation in Delhi and preparedness with Chief Secy, Health officials and all DMs. Corona cases have increased due to festival season and pollution. It was decided to: 1. Ban crackers in Delhi, 2. Ramp up medical infra, Oxygen and ICU beds are being increased in Delhi govt hospitals," Kejriwal said in a tweet.
Moreover, NGT also 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....