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Ban on firecrackers in 23 states, NGT to pronounce crucial verdict for Diwali!

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal will on Monday (November 9) hear and pronounce its order on the imposition of a temporary ban on sale and use of firecrackers across 23 states and UTs amidst the double whammy of the pollution crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. The Green Tribunal is expected to announce its order at around 10:30 am today.

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 firecrackers should be banned from November 7-30.

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.

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.
Licences for sale of firecrackers suspended in Delhi

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police, on Sunday, suspended all licences issued for the sale of firecrackers in the national capital and said that further action will be taken on the directions of the NGT. “All licences issued for the sale of firecrackers have been suspended and further action will be taken on NGT directions,” Delhi Police tweeted.

Delhi Police also arrested seven persons for allegedly selling firecrackers in the national capital despite the ban and recovered nearly 600 kgs of firecrackers from them.