The green tribunal has allowed green crackers for a 35-minute duration on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, only in areas where the air quality is ‘moderate’ or ‘good.’

A photo of firecrackers illuminating the sky NGT has banned use and sale firecrackers in COVID-19 pandemicRepresentative image
news Environment Wednesday, December 02, 2020 - 14:56

The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday said that there will be a total ban on the sale and use of all firecrackers during the COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi-NCR as well as all the other cities or towns where the ambient air quality falls under the 'poor' and above category. However, during Christmas and on New Year, the NGT has allowed the use of green crackers from 11:55 pm to 12:30 am at places where air quality is 'moderate' or better. 

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said its direction to restrict the use of firecrackers in cities/towns where air quality is 'moderate' or below to green crackers and for the duration of not more than two hours will continue.

"There will be a total ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers during COVID-19 pandemic in the NCR and all cities/towns in the country where the ambient air quality falls under the 'poor' and above category," the bench said.

During Christmas, and New Year, green crackers can be used from 11:55 pm to 12:30 am only at places where air quality is 'moderate' or below, the NGT said.

Also read: What are green crackers? Here’s how they’re different

The NGT has directed all District Magistrates to ensure that banned firecrackers are not sold and asked them to recover compensation from violators. Any victim of pollution, apart from other remedies, can approach District Magistrate for compensation, it added.

Last month, ahead of Deepavali, the NGT had imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight in Delhi and NCR, as well as in places which had recorded ‘poor’ air quality levels in 2019. "Celebration by crackers is for happiness. It is not to celebrate deaths and diseases. Happiness of a few at the cost of lives of others is not the value in Indian society which stands for happiness and well-being of all," the NGT bench had then said. 

The NGT had then attached a list of 122 places across the country which had recorded ‘poor’ air quality levels in November 2019. From Andhra Pradesh, 12 places were included: Anantapur, Chittoor, Eluru, Guntur, Kadapa, Kurnool, Nellore, Ongole, Rajahmundry, Srikakulam, Vijaywada, Vishakhapatnam and Vizianagaram. In Karnataka, Bengaluru, Devangere, Kalaburagi, Hubli-Dharwad had recorded poor air quality. Trichy and Tuticorin from Tamil Nadu made it to the list. Four districts from Telangana — Hyderabad, Nalgonda, Patencheru and Sangareddy — were on the list. The complete list can be accessed here, on page 14.

With PTI inputs

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.