New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday sought response from the Chief Secretaries of 23 states and Union territories on imposition of ban on fire crackers in a bid to protect the health of the vulnerable groups amidst the double whammy of pollution crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic.
This came two days after the green tribunal issued a notice to the Union Environment Ministry, the Delhi Police Commissioner, the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi state pollution control on whether the use of fire crackers should be banned from November 7 to 30.
In Wednesday’s proceedings, a bench of NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (retd) issued notice to the other states on a batch of applications seeking ban on fire crackers across the country during the time the air quality is unsatisfactory.
The tribunal noted that the scope of proceedings may need to be extended beyond national capital region.
Alluding to 122 non-attainment cities in 23 states and Union territories, which have been consistently showing poorer air quality, it 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.
“Accordingly, we consider it appropriate to issue notice to all the States and UTs where the above cities fall, in addition to notice already issued to the Governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. To all other States and UTs where the above cities fall, notice may be issued by e-mail to the concerned Chief Secretaries returnable for tomorrow,” the bench added.
The NGT did not send the notice to Odisha and Rajasthan as they have already imposed a ban on sale of crackers following their impact on health of Covid-19 patients. Delhi, on the other hand, has allowed only use of green firecrackers.