New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday pronounced a total ban against the sale and use of all firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region from midnight to November 30.

The NGT said there will be a total ban against sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the NCR from midnight of November 9 -10 to the midnight of November 30 - December 1, 2020. The order will also apply to all cities/towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) was recorded in the 'poor' and above category.

The order further stated that 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, Chatt, New Year/Christmas Eve etc., as may be specified by the concerned State.

"This direction is on the pattern of the direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in (2019) 13 SCC 523 which we are applying to areas moderately polluted or below air quality due to aggravated effect during Covid-19, as already noted. If nothing is specified by the State, timing will be 8 to 10 pm on Diwali and  Gurpurab, 6 am to 8 am on Chatt and 11.55 pm to 12.30 am during Christmas and New year eve (which have yet to come and do not fall in November but if ban continues) and not otherwise," the tribunal said.

A bench of NGT Chairperson, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel (retired) issued the order after hearing, on November 5, amicus curiae senior advocates Raj Panjwani and Mahesh Jethmalani along with lawyers appearing for the Union Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board and the lawyers for various states and Union Territories.

Currently, the state governments have their own set of guidelines with regard to permitting/banning the sale and use of firecrackers during the festive season.

Earlier on Thursday, the NGT had reserved, till November 9, its order on the imposition of ban on firecrackers across 23 states and UTs.

The Arvind Kejriwal led-Delhi government at a Covid-19 review meeting on Thursday had decided to ban the use of firecrackers as it was directly proportional to the sharp rise in the national capital’s daily coronavirus tally.

Meanwhile the Haryana government has allowed the use of firecrackers allowed between 8 pm till 10 pm on Diwali and Gurupurab, and 11.55 pm till 1230 am on Christmas and New Year’s eve.