Firecrackers: C'garh govt for strict compliance to NGT order

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Raipur, Nov 9 (PTI) The Chhattisgarh government on Monday directed officials to strictly implement the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the sale and use of firecrackers observing that excessive fireworks may trigger air pollution that could increase the spread of COVID-19.

A state government official said the duration of fireworks for festivals like Diwali, Chhath Puja, Christmas, Guru Parv and New Year has been restricted to two hours.

As per the NGT guidelines, the sale and use of green firecrackers will be allowed in the cities with good/satisfactory/moderate Air Quality Index (AQI).

'The order issued by Chhattisgarh chief secretary RP Mandal said that excessive fireworks could trigger air pollution that may increase the spread of COVID-19. In view of this, the strict compliance with the guidelines issued by the NGT should be ensured,' the official said.

As per the guidelines, fireworks timing on the occasions of Diwali and Guru Parva has been fixed between 8 pm and 10 pm and between 6 am and 8 am for Chhath Puja, he said, adding that the same is fixed between 11.55 pm and 12.30 am for New Year/Christmas.

License-holding traders will be allowed to sell improved and green crackers that cause less pollution, the official said, adding that the sale of firecrackers with higher decibel sound than the prescribed limits will not be allowed.

License of manufacturers will be cancelled if lithium, arsenic, antimony, lead and mercury is found mixed in their crackers, the official said.

He said online sell of crackers has also been banned.

All district collectors and superintendents of police (SPs) in the state have been asked for strict compliance of the guidelines, he said.

All the seven regional offices of Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board have been asked for regular monitoring of air quality and updating the same on the website of the board, he added. PTI TKP NSK NSK