The storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers has been banned with immediate effect in Delhi, Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal informed on Wednesday. The CM said that it was essential for the Delhi Government to implement the ban in order to save lives. The decision has been taken at this juncture considering two critical factors. First, the pollution situation can prove to be fatal considering the trends of the previous years. Second, to prevent traders from indulging in any kind of stocking and sale/purchase preemptively. The CM has appealed to the traders to not do any kind of stocking this year and said that the decision was taken after reviewing the pollution levels around Diwali for the last 3 years. Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai said that NGT had called for a complete ban on the use of firecrackers during the pandemic period wherever the air quality levels fall in the poor category. He reiterated that the third wave can arise at any point of time and the decision has been taken to keep control over the fatality of the situation in that prospect.

Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to highlight the criticality of the timing of the ban and said, “In view of the dangerous condition of pollution in Delhi during the Diwali period for the last 3 years, like last year, a complete ban is being imposed on the storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers. So that people’s lives can be saved. Last year, a complete ban on firecrackers was imposed late after assessing the seriousness of the situation. This caused losses to the traders. It is an appeal to all the traders that this time in view of the complete ban, please do not do any kind of stockage.”

Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai said, “the NGT had directed a complete ban on firecrackers during the COVID-19 pandemic, where the air quality falls under the poor category and beyond. The data of CPCB for the last three years shows Delhi is almost in the poor pollution index. Last year, besides Delhi – Rajasthan, Orissa, Sikkim, West Bengal, Chandigarh, 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh had imposed a complete ban on firecrackers.”

“Last year, the Delhi Government decided in favour of the complete ban on 06.11.2020, which was just before Diwali. The Delhi Police had already issued temporary licences for sale of firecrackers and because of this, traders and dealers suffered losses. There were also incidents of bursting of firecrackers in Delhi by the residents due to easy availability. To avoid any such situation, we decided that the DPCC, like last year, will issue directions for complete ban on sale, use and storage of all types of firecrackers with immediate effect,” he added.

(EW correspondent)