Guwahati: In the wake of the crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic, a number of states have issued an order to ban firecrackers this festive season. It has now come to light that Assam could also be added to the list of states that have placed an outright ban on the bursting of firecrackers.
Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, chairperson of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday issued notices to 18 states and union territories including Assam, Nagaland, and Meghalaya to expand the scope of hearing cases on pollution. The names of the cities in these states, however, were not mentioned.
The NGT directed the states to respond by November 5 and further instructed the Ministry of Environment and Forests on whether the usage of firecrackers would be banned from November 7 to November 30 -- the period when Diwali celebrations are usually held across the nation.
The tribunal has already issued notices to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, while, it has observed that Rajasthan and Odisha have ordered the ban on the sale and use of firecrackers this year.
As per reports, the panel has sought replies from Assam, Chandigarh, Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal as the air quality in these state is poorer than the permissible limits.
Another Northeast state -- Sikkim -- placed a complete ban on the sale of firecrackers on Wedneday (Novermber 4). This ban will be in effect until further notice.
The ban on the bursting of firecrackers has also been taken as COVID-19 patients -- both active and recovered -- are vulnerable to the fumes emitted by the firecrackers.
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