The National Green Tribunal on Monday ordered a total ban against the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Captial Region (NCR) from midnight of November 9. The order will remain in effect till midnight of November 30.

An NGT bench has also directed all states and union territories to initiate drives to contain air pollution from all sources in the view of the potential aggravation of COVID-19, PTI reported.

The bench, NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel clarified that the direction will apply to all cities and towns in the country where the average of ambient air quality during November (as per available data of last year) fell under the ‘poor’ and above categories.

“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, Chhath, New Year/Christmas Eve etc., as may be specified by the state concerned.”

It added, “At other places, ban/restrictions are optional for the authorities but if there are more stringent measures under orders of the authorities, the same will prevail.”