The National Green Tribunal on November 2 issued notice to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and four state governments regarding the use of firecrackers be banned from November 7 to November 30 in the interest of public health and environment.

NGT Chairperson Justice AK Goel headed a bench which sought asked for a response from the governments of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, MoEF, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Delhi Pollution Control Committee, Police Commissioner of Delhi. The NGT also appointed senior advocate Raj Panjwani and advocate Shibhani Ghosh to assist it as amicus curiae in the matter.

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Indian Social Responsibility Network had filed a plea through Santosh Gupta, seeking an action against pollution caused by usage of fire crackers in the NCR during a time when the air quality is unsatisfactory along with the exposure to dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The application referred to the statement of the Union Health Minister and the Health Minister of Delhi that during the festive season there will be a rise of COVID-19 cases due to air pollution.

The plea said that increased pollution may further affect vulnerable groups and increase the fatality rate. Compared to the current COVID-19 cases of 5,000 per day in Delhi, the number might rise to 15,000 cases per day. It further said that the usage of green crackers would not remedy the solution and the smoke may create gas chamber like situation; causing poor visibility, hazy conditions and asphyxia.

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