Delhi pollution control body issues order banning firecrackers until Jan 1

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) Delhi’s Pollution Control Board has ordered a complete ban on the production, sale and use of all types of firecrackers in the nation’s capital until January 1.

An official said the ban takes effect immediately. Delhi’s AAP government has followed the practice of banning firecrackers during winters for the past couple of years.

The early announcement of the ban this year should give the city administration and police enough time to put in place a mechanism to control the illegal manufacture, sale and use of firecrackers.

The order of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said the ban extends to the online sale of firecrackers.

“There will be a complete ban on the manufacture, storage, sale (including delivery via online marketing platforms) and popping of all kinds of firecrackers until January 1, 2023 (sic)” , we read.

Last year, the Delhi government announced a complete ban on firecrackers until January 1, 2022. It has also waged an aggressive campaign, involving 15 district-level task forces, against the sale and use of firecrackers.

Haryana has also banned the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in 14 of its districts in the National Capital Region, while Uttar Pradesh has only allowed the use of green firecrackers on Diwali during two hours in areas with moderate or better air quality.

Despite the restrictions, people detonated firecrackers late into the night in Delhi, Noida, Faridabad and Gurugram during festivities such as Diwali. The fireworks had caused major changes in PM10 and PM2.5 concentrations in Delhi on Diwali evening (4 November 2021), according to the DPCC.

Emissions from firecrackers and farm fires had pushed the capital’s 24-hour average air quality index for the day after Diwali to 462, the highest in five years.

Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai then alleged that the BJP had instigated people to flout the firecracker ban on Diwali by linking it to religion.

The National Green Tribunal on December 2, 2020 ordered a total ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in the NCR and in all cities with poor or worse ambient air quality.

Air quality in Delhi and nearby areas starts deteriorating in October due to unfavorable weather factors such as low temperatures and wind speed which do not allow the dispersal of pollutants. A cocktail of firecracker emissions on Diwali and stubble burning in neighboring states is making the situation worse.

A study by researchers at IIT-Delhi indicates that biomass burning emissions, rather than fireworks, lead to poor air quality in the nation’s capital during the days following Diwali.

On Diwali last year, stubble burning accounted for 25% of Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution in 2021; 32% in 2020 and 19% in 2019, according to the air quality forecaster SAFAR of the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

-With PTI input

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