Twelve days before Diwali, the National Green Tribunal has decided to examine if the use of firecrackers should be banned in the National Capital Region between November 7 and November 30.

The bench has issued notices to the Union environment ministry, the Central Pollution Control Board, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the Delhi Police Comissioner and the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The notice comes amid concerns that the use of firecrackers during the upcoming festive season, and the ensuing rise in air pollution, may worsen the COVID-19 situation in NCR.

The NGT notice came following a petition by the Indian Social Responsibility Network. The plea noted that the smoke will choke and may create a gas chamber-like situation. It will lead to poor visibility, hazy conditions and asphyxia. It also said that use of green crackers will not remedy the situation.

The plea said, "Increased pollution may further affect the vulnerable groups and increase the fatality rate. Covid-19 cases in Delhi may go up to 15,000 per day as against 5,000 per day."

On Tuesday, the air quality remained in 'very poor' category in Delhi.