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Thursday, December 03, 2020

Air pollution: NGT notice to Centre to ban fire crackers from Nov 7-30

The application referred to the statement of the Union Health Minister and the Health Minister of Delhi that during festive season there will be a rise of COVID-19 cases due to air pollution.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: November 2, 2020 6:24:16 pm
Delhi Pollution: Over 70 lakh litres water sprinkled at 13 hotspots in 36 daysPollutions levels breached the emergency threshold twice this month in the national capital as a grey apocalyptic smog enveloped the city for days, blotting out the sun and smudging landmarks from view.(File photo)

The National Green Tribunal Monday issued notice to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and four state governments on whether use of fire crackers be banned from November 7-30 in the interest of public health and environment.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel sought response from MoEF, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Police Commissioner of Delhi and the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The NGT also appointed senior advocate Raj Panjwani and advocate Shibhani Ghosh to assist it as amicus curiae in the matter. The tribunal was hearing a plea by Indian Social Responsibility Network, filed through Santosh Gupta, seeking action against pollution by use of fire crackers in NCR during the time air quality is unsatisfactory with potential of severity of COVID-19 pandemic.

The application referred to the statement of the Union Health Minister and the Health Minister of Delhi that during festive season there will be a rise of COVID-19 cases due to air pollution.

“Increased pollution may further affect vulnerable groups and increase the fatality rate. COVID-19 cases in Delhi may go up to 15,000 per day, as against the current cases of about 5,000 per day. Use of green crackers will not remedy the situation. The smoke will choke and may create gas chamber like situation. It will lead to poor visibility, hazy conditions and asphyxia,” the plea said.

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