Gurugram District Magistrate Amit Khatri has imposed a complete ban on firecrackers in the city, three days after the Haryana government permitted their sale and use for two hours on festivals such as Diwali, citing impact on small traders, reported NDTV on Wednesday.
“The use of these crackers will further aggravate pollution in the area, which is already reeling under acute pollution due to smog and emission of other poisonous gases and pollutants,” the district magistrate said in the order.
The order cited the ban on the sale and use of firecrackers imposed by the National Green Tribunal till November 30, and said it supersedes all the other orders. “Therefore, the previous orders permitting usage for a limited time/window on Diwali should be treated as withdrawn and void,” the administration said.
The Haryana government had allowed bursting of crackers for two hours – 8 pm to 10 pm – on Diwali, Kartik Poornima and Gurupurab, the order stated. It added that people were allowed to burst firecrackers from 11.55 pm to 12.30 am on Christmas and New Year.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had on Monday clarified that the ban would apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality in November (as per available data of last year) fell below the “poor” category.
An index reading between 0 and 50 puts the air quality in “good” category. A reading between 51 and 100 puts it in the “satisfactory” category, between 101 and 200 in the “moderate” category, and between 201 and 300 in the “poor category”. The air quality is said to be “very poor” when the index value falls between 300 and 400. An index value between 400 and 500 puts the quality in the “severe” category.
In cities and towns where the air quality is “moderate” or below, only green crackers will be allowed to be sold, the tribunal had said. Besides, bursting of firecrackers would be allowed only within a limited time period of two hours during festivals such as Diwali, Chhath, New Year/ Christmas eve. The NGT had said the state government would be left in-charge to decide the timings for the same.
Uttar Pradesh bans firecrackers in 13 cities
The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday announced that it has banned the sale and use of firecrackers in 13 cities across the state from November 9 and November 10 midnight to the midnight of November 30 and December 1, News18 reported.
These cities where the ban is imposed are Varanasi, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Agra, Greater Noida, Meerut, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Moradabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Noida and Bulandshahr. The state government said that it will review the order later.
Lucknow Police Commissioner Sujit Pandey has directed all police in-charges in the city to follow the orders. He said that all firecracker shops should be closed, adding that those who do not abide by the order will have their stock confiscated.
Punjab, Andhra Pradesh allows green firecrackers for two hours
The Andhra Pradesh government has said only green firecrackers will be allowed for sale and use on Diwali and also restricted the timing to two hours – from 8 pm to 10 pm, ANI reported on Wednesday.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said that people would be allowed to burst green firecrackers for two hours on Diwali and Gurupurab, reported PTI. However, the state government has imposed a total ban in the town of Mandi Gobindgarh from November 9-10 midnight till midnight of November 30 and December 1 in view of poor AQI levels.
While green firecrackers can be burst between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali, they will be allowed between 4 am and 5 am, and from 9 pm to 10 pm on Gurupurab. People can burst firecrackers from 11.55 pm to 12.30 on Christmas eve.
The chief minister has asked Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta to take strict action against violators.
Besides these places, the Karnataka and Chandigarh governments have banned the sale and use of firecrackers. Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim and West Bengal administrations had made the announcements for the ban earlier.