New Delhi: The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Tuesday (September 28) ordered a complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1, 2022.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced a ban on firecrackers on September 15, saying it was "essential to save lives."
According to the DPCC order, several experts have indicated a possibility of another surge of COVID-19 and largescale celebrations by bursting of firecrackers will result not only in agglomeration of people in violation of social distancing norms but also a high level of air pollution leading to serious health issues in Delhi.
The bursting of firecrackers under the prevalent pandemic crisis is not favourable for the cause of larger community health given the significant relationship between air pollution and respiratory infections, it said.
"There will be a 'complete ban on bursting and sale of all kinds of firecrackers up to 1.1.2022 in the territory of NCT of Delhi," the DPCC's order stated.
The pollution control body has asked district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police to implement the directions and submit daily action-taken reports to it.
A few days ago, Delhi suggested its surrounding states to shift their public transport vehicles in the National Capital Region to CNG and adopt a policy to promote electric vehicles. It had also urged the neighbouring states to emulate Delhi and ban firecrackers to tackle pollution.
Last year, the National Green Tribunal had imposed a total ban on the sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region from November 9 midnight to November 30 midnight, saying "celebration by crackers is for happiness and not to celebrate deaths and diseases".
However, the city had recorded an overall air quality index of 414, which falls in the severe category, the day after Diwali, with people flouting the ban with impunity.