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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Indian Environmental Court Issues Prohibition of Firecrackers in Cities Facing Pollution Crisis

An environmental tribunal in India issued an order on Monday to ban the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in all pollution-hit cities across the country ahead of the Diwali festivities on Saturday.

An environmental tribunal in India issued an order on Monday to ban the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in all pollution-hit cities across the country ahead of the Diwali festivities on Saturday.

According to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the prohibition of the firecrackers in cities and towns across India, where the average ambient air quality in November 2019 fell under the ‘poor’ and above category, would be implemented between Nov. 10 and 30.

Diwali is a five-day festival celebrated annually across India, with people lighting millions of firecrackers to observe the occasion. However, experts and authorities have been blaming the practice for worsening air pollution – especially in northern India which experiences intense smog during winter every year.

NGT said that the pollution caused by fireworks was an “aggravating risk to lives and health”, citing a link between poor air quality and a surge in COVID-19.

Areas, where the ambient air quality fell under the ‘moderate’ or below category, could only sell green crackers and they are only permitted to be used within two hours.

India is one of the countries that have recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections in the world. The country’s health experts have been expressing their concerns about air pollution worsening the symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.

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