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Delhi government bans firecrackers in capital city ahead of Diwali

Ahead of Diwali, Delhi government has announced that the ban imposed on firecrackers to combat pollution will remain in effect this Diwali too.

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New Delhi: Ahead of Diwali, Delhi government has announced that the ban imposed on firecrackers to combat pollution will remain in effect this Diwali too.

The move came at a time when Delhi is witnessing heavy pollution with lot of people falling ill due to this. Firecrackers have been banned in entirety by the Delhi government, and an older ban by National Green Tribunal (and endorsed by the Supreme Court) bans the sale and use of ones made with barium-based formulations in the National Capital Region (NCR). The ones without barium are known as green firecrackers, but their certification and veracity has been difficult to determine.

In an order passed in October 2018, the Supreme Court had banned the use of barium salts in firecrackers and had further said that only items “with reduced emission and green crackers… would be permitted to be manufactured and sold… On Diwali days or on any other festivals”. It had also laid down the timing for the bursting of firecrackers, saying they could be used only between 8 and 10 pm and, on Christmas eve and New Year’s eve, between “11.55 pm till 12.30 am only”.

The top court also decreed that it was improper to use “joined crackers,” such as laris, and that the amount of noise produced by firecrackers should be kept to a minimum. Additionally, it said that only authorised traders are permitted to sell firecrackers and prohibited their internet sale.

The Environment Ministry had pointed out in Parliament that the NGT had through orders in November and December 2020 directed that, among other things, “there will be total ban on sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers during Covid-19 pandemic in… all cities/towns in the country where the ambient air quality falls under the ‘poor’ and above category”.

 

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