People can burst firecrackers between 8:00 pm and 10 pm only on festivals like Diwali and Gurpurab
Praveen Khandelwal urged central and state governments to suspend all Environment Committees for failing to conclude the root cause of pollution.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday said that the city government has directed all district magistrates and the Delhi Police to ensure that only “green” firecrackers are manufactured, stored and sold in the national capital through licensed traders. People can burst firecrackers between 8:00 pm and 10 pm only on festivals like Diwali and Gurpurab, he said. On Christmas eve and New Year’s eve, it would be from 11:55 pm till 12:30 am only.
“Only licensed traders can sell firecrackers compliant with PESO prescribed standards. No e-commerce websites can accept any online orders,” an order issued by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) said. The Delhi government has asked all district magistrates and deputy commissioners of police to comply with the directions and submit a daily action taken report to the DPCC, Rai said.
In 2018, the Supreme Court had banned the use of polluting firecrackers and allowed the sale of “green” firecrackers in a bid to control air pollution. ‘Green crackers’ are not as polluting as the conventional types of firecrackers and they contain at least 30 per cent less particulate matter such as Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide.
The CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute was tasked with the job of developing ‘green crackers’. But only a few varieties were available in the market last year due to licencing requirements. The minister had earlier said that the government will launch an anti-cracker campaign from November 3. Under it, 11 special squads of the DPCC and city police will inspect firecracker manufacturing units to ensure that there is no old stock left.