GURUGRAM: The Haryana government on Sunday imposed a ban “with immediate effect” on firecrackers in its 14 districts that come under the National Capital Region (NCR). In other towns and cities where the air quality is moderate or below, it allowed the bursting of green crackers for only two hours from 8pm on Diwali.
“There will be a total ban against the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in all the 14 NCR districts, namely Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Faridabad, Gurugram, Jhajjar, Jind, Karnal, Mahendergarh, Nuh, Palwal, Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak and Sonipat,” the order by state disaster management authority read.
The directive comes almost a month after the state pollution control board banned firecrackers in the 14 NCR districts of Haryana. Officials in the pollution board said they would soon issue on its website a list of towns and cities where green crackers could be allowed not only on Diwali, but Chhath and Christmas too.
The Sunday directive also listed the timings for bursting green crackers for the upcoming festivals. “The cities/town/areas in which air quality is moderate or below, the timings for use and bursting of crackers, on Diwali days or any other festivals like Gurupurab, etc will strictly be from 8pm till 10pm only. For Chatth, the same will be from 6am to 8am. On Christmas and New Year Eve, when such fireworks start around midnight, i.e. from 12am, it will be from 11.55pm till 12.30am only,” it said.
Sources said the pollution control board would carry out a short-term monitoring of the air quality in various cities for the past 14 days and look for parameters such as aluminum, barium and iron content. It will then create a database, which will help it issue the list of cities and towns where green crackers could be allowed.
“To reduce episodic increase of air pollution effectively and substantially in NCR, it is felt appropriate to reiterate the measures, for strict compliance by the governments of NCR States, for the control and regulation of sale, use and bursting of firecrackers in NCR and adjoining areas,” the order said.
According to the officials, the government would promote community bursting of crackers in areas where they are allowed. The local authorities would have to identify spots and inform the local residents about them.
Explaining the need for such a ban, officials said whenever firecrackers are burst in large numbers, pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and suspended particulate matter like PM10 are released in the air. “There is a complete ban on the sale and use of firecrackers for winter in the NCR districts of Haryana,” said S. Narayana, the pollution secretary.
Last year too, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned the use of firecrackers in Delhi and adjoining areas from November 9 to 30. But given the deteriorating air quality, the ban was extended up to Christmas and New Year.





Source link Times of India

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