The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region (NCR) from the midnight of November 9 to the midnight of November 30.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction will apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) fell under the 'poor' and above categories.
"The cities/towns where air quality is 'moderate' or below, only green crackers be sold, and the timings for use and bursting of crackers be restricted to two hours during festivals like Diwali, Chhath, New Year/Christmas Eve etc., as may be specified by the state concerned.
"At other places, ban/restrictions are optional for the authorities but if there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail," the bench said.
The NGT also directed all states and Union Territories to initiate special drives to contain air pollution from all sources in view of the potential of aggravation of COVID-19.