The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the authorities in Delhi-NCR to not allow the sale of fire crackers till November 30 starting from midnight of November 9/10. The NGT directions will be applicable to all cities/towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) falls under ‘poor’ and above category. It further directed that in 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.
The NGT orders have put a dampener on the hopes of hundreds of fire cracker dealers and traders who were expecting a mixed judgment. However, it will be a challenge for the authorities to rein in thousands of shopkeepers who have kept old stock of crackers and are selling these surreptitiously.