NGT bans firecrackers across India in cities with ‘poor’ air quality or worse

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NGT bans firecrackers across India in cities with ‘poor’ air quality or worse
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  • The National Green Tribunal has banned the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in Delhi NCR from midnight today (November 9) till November 30.
  • The bench clarified that the direction would apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November fell under the 'poor' and above categories.
  • This came after several other states including Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Sikkim banned crackers already.
As Delhi's air quality continues to remain in 'severe' category, the top green court National Green Tribunal has banned the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in Delhi NCR from midnight today (November 9) till November 30. The NCR region includes Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction would apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) fell under the 'poor' and above categories.

"The cities/towns where air quality is 'moderate' or below, only green crackers be sold, and the timings for use and bursting of crackers be restricted to two hours during festivals like Diwali, Chhath, New Year/Christmas Eve etc., as may be specified by the state concerned.

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"At other places, ban/restrictions are optional for the authorities, but if there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail," the bench said.

The NGT also directed all states and Union Territories to initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of the potential of aggravation of COVID-19.

This came after several other states including Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Sikkim banned crackers already.

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Delhi's air quality severe, relief unlikely soon

The national capital's air quality remained 'severe' for the fifth consecutive day on Monday, with calm wind speed exacerbating the effect of stubble burning.

The city's air quality index (AQI) stood at 469 at 9am. Its 24-hour average AQI was 416 on Sunday, 427 on Saturday, 406 on Friday and 450 on Thursday, the highest since November 15 last year, when it was 458.The neighbouring cities of Faridabad (462), Ghaziabad (483), Noida (476), Greater Noida (482), and Gurugram (475) also recorded 'severe' air quality.

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An AQI between zero and 50 is considered "good", 51 and 100 "satisfactory", 101 and 200 "moderate", 201 and 300 "poor", 301 and 400 "very poor", and 401 and 500 "severe".

(with inputs from wire services)

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