The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Tuesday banned the sale, storage and use of firecrackers in Delhi till January 1, 2022.
In an order, the DPCC said the ban on cracker sale, storage and use, which was first announced by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on September 15 this year, will be extended till January 1, 2022.
“Several experts have indicated a possibility of another surge of Covid-19 and large-scale celebrations by bursting firecrackers will result not only in agglomeration of people, in violation of social distancing norms, but also in high level of air pollution leading to serious health issues,” the order said.
It further said, “The DPCC directs that there will be a complete ban on bursting and sale of all kinds of firecrackers up to January 1, 2022, in the territory of NCT of Delhi.”
In a series of tweets on September 15, Kejriwal said the decision to impose a complete ban on crackers in Delhi was taken to “save lives” of residents. The risk of high pollution levels in Delhi during winters, coupled with the risk of the Covid-19 pandemic could impact the health of citizens, Kejriwal said.
The district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police shall implement the aforesaid directions. Daily action taken reports are required to be submitted to DPCC via email, the pollution control board said.
Every year, during the winter months from mid-October, Delhi’s air quality plummets to emergency levels on several days owing to changes in weather, large-scale stubble burning in the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana, and also due to local pollution sources and cracker bursting during Diwali.
Despite a ban on crackers last year as well, Delhi’s pollution levels remained high on Diwali day (November 14) and continued to remain in the poor zone in the subsequent week. In a special report to assess the rise in pollution on Diwali, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said almost all pollutants reported higher values on Diwali in 2020 as compared to 2019.
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