Nagpur: With Festival of Lights just three days away, utter confusion has gripped firecracker dealers as well as citizens amid the NGT move to ban bursting of firecrackers in view of COVID-19 pandemic across the country and growing air pollution in a few northern states.
The prevailing confusion is being attributed to an appeal by Maharashtra Government to the people to not burst crackers during Diwali citing ecological concerns. Moreover, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) imposed a ban on the bursting of firecrackers at public places during Diwali in view of rising COVID-19 cases in the city.
According to reports, as many as eight states have imposed a ban on firecrackers. The states include Delhi, West Bengal, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Chandigarh, Haryana, and Karnataka amidst the double whammy of the pollution crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.
Though the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has made the firecracker ban optional for States that have better Air Quality, the direction is still unclear as the Tribunal left the decision to ban it or not on the State Governments. Now, the ball is in the Maharashtra Government’s court to take a call in this regard. However, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is still not in a state to comment on banning of firecrackers.