Diwali, one of the most awaited Indian festivals, is just around the corner as people prepare to celebrate it in their own vibrant ways. The festival that brings much needed positivity in peoples' lives, it also brings a lot of pollution due to burning of the fire crackers. Especially, in the northern states of the country which faces a double dose of air pollution due to stubble burning added with fire crackers. Therefore, in order to ensure that air quality doesn't worsen during this fall, several states banned the use of fire crackers ahead of the festival. While a couple of states have already announced the ban on fire crackers, others may follow the suit too. Here's the list of states where fire crackers have already been banned.
States where firecrackers have been banned ahead of Diwali
The Calcutta High Court had banned the use and sale of firecrackers in Kali Puja and Diwali, keeping in mind the Covid-19 pandemic situation in West Bengal. Earlier, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Calcutta High Court with regard to banning firecrackers during Kali Puja and Diwali in the state.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal decided to ban firecrackers, as both pollution and coronavirus are adversely impacting city residents. "The Delhi government has decided to put a complete ban on the sale, purchase, and use of firecrackers in Delhi from November 7 to November 30," Delhi government said in an order.
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation on November 5 announced that it will ban bursting or lighting of all fire-crackers at public places during the upcoming Diwali festival. Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said that any violators shall be penalized and the SOPs in this regard would be issued shortly. The ban has been proposed in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the early winter that has set in.
Chandigarh has also banned the sale and use of firecrackers of all types with immediate effect, until further orders.
NGT to pronounce order on firecracker ban on November 9
The National Green Tribunal on November 5 reserved, till November 9, its order on the imposition of ban on fire crackers across 23 states and UTs amidst the double whammy of the pollution crisis and the pandemic. Earlier this week, the NGT had sought response of the Union Environment Ministry, the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, the Central Pollution Control Board, the Delhi Police Commissioner and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee on whether the use of fire crackers should be banned from November 7 to 30.
On Wednesday, the tribunal expanded its ambit of hearing cases on pollution by use of firecrackers beyond the Delhi-NCR region and issued notices to 19 states and Union Territories where air quality is beyond norms.
"We have heard learned Amicus, Raj Panjwani, Senior Advocate, Mahesh Jethmalani, Senior Advocate appearing for the Indian Fireworks Manufacturers' Association and learned Counsel appearing for the MoEF, CPCB and the States, UTs, PCBs, PCCs. Order reserved. Order will be uploaded on the website by 09.11.2020 at 10:30 am," a bench of NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (retd), stated.
The bench, also comprising Judicial Member S.K. Singh, and Expert Members Dr Nagin Nanda and S.S. Garbyal, was hearing various pleas seeking action against pollution by use of firecrackers during the time air quality is unsatisfactory with the potential of the severity of Covid-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, alluding to 122 non-attainment cities in 23 states and Union Territories, which have been consistently showing poorer air quality, the green tribunal said that it may have to consider direction to prohibit use of fire crackers during the period air quality is beyond a threshold to protect the health of the vulnerable groups.
Non-attainment cities include Delhi, Varanasi, Bhopal, Kolkata, Noida, Muzaffarpur, Mumbai, Jammu, Ludhiana, Patiala, Ghaziabad, Varanasi, Kolkata, Patna, Gaya, Chandigarh etc.