Maharashtra assures High Court of total ban on firecrackers

Government councel says that NGTโ€™s directives will be adhered to.

The Maharashtra government assured the Bombay High Court (HC) that the order passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the total ban on use and sale of firecrackers will be implemented by the State.

A Division Bench of Justices A.K. Menon and S.P. Tavade was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Aniruddha Deshpande.

The PIL sought a complete ban on sale and use of firecrackers in Maharashtra from November 10 to 20. It also seeks a direction to concerned authorities to ensure that no firecrackers are sold till the disposal of the PIL.

Government counsel P.P. Kakade stated that the principal Bench of the NGT at New Delhi passed an order on November 9 issuing a total ban in the National Capital Region and a similar direction is made applicable to other cities and towns where the average ambient air quality is specified.

The NGT directed that there would be a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers between November 10 and 30 in all cities and towns across the country where the average ambient air quality in November fell under the โ€˜poorโ€™ and above category.

The Bench also stated that in places where the ambient air quality fell under the โ€˜moderateโ€™ or below category, only green crackers would be permitted to be sold and timings would be restricted to two hours for bursting of crackers.

Mr. Kakade said there are several other directions by the NGT, including directions to the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all the States and Union Territories, which require the enforcement agencies, including all District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police, to abide by these guidelines.

He said the notification put a total ban on the use of firecrackers in nine areas, including Ambernath, Badlapur, Chandrapur, Dombivli, Nagpur, Thane, Mumbai, Vasai, and Virar. He also said for 14 urban areas, including Akola, Amravati, Aurangabad, Bhiwandi, Jalgaon, Jalna, Kolhapur, Latur, Nashik, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, Sangli, and Ulhasnagar, municipal corporations had received directions to assess the ambient air quality and take a decision as per the NGT order.

He assured the court on behalf of the State that all the guidelines will be followed strictly. The court accepted the statement and disposed of the plea.


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