Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced a complete ban on the storage, sale, and bursting of all kinds of firecrackers in the national capital during Diwali. Taking to Twitter, the chief minister said the decision has been taken in the wake of the pollution situation in the national capital, in the last three years during Diwali. The development comes after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday sought an appointment with Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav to discuss measures to be taken to reduce pollution in the national capital.
The secretary to the Delhi environment minister wrote a letter to the Union minister's private secretary in this regard.
Kejriwal had on Monday said he would call on the Union environment minister with the audit report of Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution that can turn stubble into manure in 15-20 days, and ask him to direct states surrounding Delhi to distribute it for free among farmers.
He had said the audit by a central agency has found the use of Pusa bio-decomposer highly effective.
Meanwhile, with the aim of addressing air pollution, in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) due to stubble burning in the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, the Centre has released Rs 496 crore to subsidize machinery required in-situ management of crop residue.
Addressing the media in Delhi, Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary of Union Ministry of Agriculture informed that the Centre released Rs 496 crore for four state--Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab to subsidize machinery required in-situ management of crop residue during 2021-22.
"For the year 2021-22 fund amounting Rs 235 crore has been released for Punjab, Rs 141 crore has been released for Haryana, Rs 115 crore for Uttar Pradesh and Rs 5 crore has been released for Delhi. Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and other central agencies also received Rs 54.99 crore," informed Agarwal.
In July this year, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea challenging the National Green Tribunal's order for the imposition of a complete ban on the sale and use of all firecrackers during the COVID-19 pandemic in cities, said that no further clarification or deliberation was required.
A Bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had said that the NGT in its order has already decided the issue and no further clarification or deliberation was required.
It further said that authorities may permit the sale and use of firecrackers as per the category of Air Quality Index (AQI) in the cities.
The Bench said that manufacturing or production of firecrackers was allowed and those who wanted to use firecrackers could do so with permission depending upon the category of AQI. It clarified that the ban is in places where air quality is poor and there is no ban on the manufacture.
"Ban is the only defendant on-air category. The moment there is the poor quality of air, all activities should stop", observed the Bench.