The Arvind Kejriwal government has imposed a blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi as the capital records a sharp rise in air pollution levels ahead of Diwali. According to a government statement, the ban will also cover green crackers.
The ban will remain in place till November 30.
"In the wake of the rising pollution and coronavirus cases in Delhi due to the festival season, the Delhi government has decided to put a complete ban on the sale, purchase, and use of firecrackers in the city from November 7 to November 30," the statement said.
Delhi is currently witnessing a deterioration in the levels of air pollution due to unfavorable weather conditions and a rise in farm fires in neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana. On Friday morning, Delhi's air quality was in the 'Severe' category. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said that the Air Quality Index at ITO was 448.
The decision to ban the sale of firecrackers was taken at a meeting presided over by CM Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday. The city government also decided to ramp up medical infrastructure with Kejriwal acknowledging that the national capital is witnessing a jump in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the last few days and it can be called a "third wave".
The national capital has recorded a spike in COVID-19 cases in the past few days with the number of daily infections crossing the 6,000-mark on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"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," the CM said in a tweet separately on Thursday.