Amid pollution woes, Haryana imposes complete firecracker ban in districts near Delhi; Details inside

A list of cities and towns where these restrictions would be imposed would be made public by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board in the coming days.

Cracker bans and Diwali: As Diwali is around the corner, worries of increase in pollution due to crackers have started plaguing the authorities. Now, the Haryana government has decided to immediately ban the sale as well as use of firecrackers throughout the 14 districts of the state that fall under the National Capital Region or the NCR. The districts in which a total ban on firecrackers has been imposed are Gurugram, Charkhi Dadri, Bhiwani, Jhajjar, Faridabad, Karnal, Nuh, Mahendergarh, Panipat, Jind, Rohtak, Sonipat, Rewari, and Palwal. The order on the regulation of sale and use of firecrackers has been issued by the State Disaster Management Authority.

Apart from these 14 districts, Haryana has eight other districts that do not come under the NCR. The SDMA has said that those cities and towns where the air quality is “poor” on an average in November, based on the data for last year, will also come under the directive of complete ban on firecrackers. Apart from that, the cities and towns where the air quality category is “moderate” or below would only be able to burst green crackers.

For Diwali and festivals like Gurupurab, the designated time during which people can burst firecrackers is 8 pm to 10 pm, the order says, while for the Chhath Puja, this period is 6 am to 8 am. On December 24, people would be allowed to burst crackers from 11:55 pm, and they would be allowed to burst them till 12:30 am on December 25, which means that people will have a 35-minute window for Christmas. A similar window has also been granted for New Year, when people will be able to burst crackers starting 11:55 pm on December 31 up to 12:30 am on New Year.

A list of cities and towns where these restrictions would be imposed would be made public by the Haryana State Pollution Control Board in the coming days, and in places where sale of firecrackers would be allowed, only licenced traders would be able to indulge in this business. E-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart would not be allowed to facilitate sale of firecrackers in the state, the order added.

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