HYDERABAD: Diwali festival has passed but the restrictions on firecrackers are here to stay. On Christmas and New Year, only green firecrackers can be used from 11.55 pm to 12.30 am but only in cities where the air quality is 'moderate' or below as per the National Air Quality Index. This direction was issued by the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday, along with a set of other directions.
It may be mentioned here that the people of Hyderabad can burst green firecrackers on Christmas and New Year during the prescribed time period, as the city's air quality has been moderate quality or below, according to information from Telangana State Pollution Control Board.
The NGT also passed directions that District Magistrates must ensure that the banned firecrackers are not being sold under their jurisdiction and anyone found violating the norms can be penalized. Also, a person falling victim to the pollution created by the firecrackers can approach the district magistrate for compensation, by showing evidence of individual damage and the person responsible for the damage.
Firecrackers usage only on notified festivals
State governments must notify a list of festivals and only on these festivals bursting of firecrackers will be allowed, that too green firecrackers. Other than specified festivals, prior permission of the District Magistrate will be required for use of firecrackers for a limited period, which will be based on the air quality.
Air quality monitoring station in each district
The NGT has also directed that at least one real-time air quality monitoring station must be installed in each district and if it is not possible then at least a manual monitoring station that is easy to set up and is not costly must be installed, within three months of the order. It has tasked the State Pollution Control Board with the responsibility of getting this done and submit a report to the Central Pollution Control Board by February 28, 2021.
Why the restrictions on firecrackers?
The NGT said that the restrictions are on the sale and use of firecrackers are being continued, due to the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic is still continuing and the bursting of firecrackers can aggravate the condition, having the potential to cause damage to public health.