On Monday, National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued a notice to the Environment and Forest Ministry (MoEF), and four state governments asking that whether the use of firecrackers is banned from November 7-30 for the interest of public health & the environment.
The bench which was headed by National Green Tribunal’s Chairperson Justice A K Goel asked for a response from MoEF, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Police Commissioner of Delhi, and the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
National Green Tribunal appointed two advocates for assistance
The tribunal also appointed advocate Shibhani Ghosh and senior advocate Raj Pinjwani to assist it as amicus curiae in this matter of banning the use of firecrackers for the sake of public health and the environment. The tribunal was hearing a plea by an organization named Indian Social Responsibility Network, filed through Mr. Santosh Gupta who was seeking action against the pollution by banning the use of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region during the time in which air quality is highly unsatisfactory with the potential of the severity of COVID-19 pandemic.
The plea was referring to the statement given by the Union Health Minister Harshvardhan and the Health Minister of Delhi Satyendra Jain that during and after the festive season there are possibilities of a high number of COVID-19 cases due to air pollution.
“Increased pollution may further affect vulnerable groups and increase the fatality rate. COVID-19 cases in Delhi may go up to 15,000 per day, as against the current cases of about 5,000 per day. The use of green crackers will not remedy the situation. The smoke will choke and may create a gas chamber like situation. It will lead to poor visibility, hazy conditions, and asphyxia,” the plea said.