STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Tuesday said only ‘green crackers’ would be permitted for sale and use in the twin capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar during the festive season, in line with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directions.The use or bursting of firecrackers, however, would be restricted to only two hours in the Union Territory during the festivals — from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali and Gurupurab, from 6 am to 8 am on Chhath and from 11.55 pm to 12.30 am on the eve of Christmas and New Year, an order issued by the member secretary, state executive committee, said.The J&K State pollution Control Board had been directed to carry out short-term monitoring in the cities for 14 days with immediate effect for the parameters including aluminum, barium, iron apart from the regulatory parameters against the short-term ambient air quality criteria values proposed by the Central Pollution Control Board with regard to bursting of firecrackers.“This will help in generation of data on pollution caused by the bursting of firecrackers and would be helpful for regulation and control of quality of parameters used in the manufacture of firecrackers,” the order said.It said any violation of the directions would invite immediate penal action under relevant sections of the Disaster Management Act besides legal action under Indian Penal Code and other provisions as applicable.In an order issued on Monday, the NGT passed several directions with regards to the sale and use of crackers during the festival across the country.As per the data of J&K State Pollution Control Board for the month of November 2019, the cities of Jammu and Srinagar fall under moderate category of Air Quality Index and thus, as per the NGT’s order, fall under the restrictions.“…considering the approaching winter season during which the elderly, children, persons with comorbidities and others are prone to respiratory problems the use of crackers, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, can affect the respiratory health of vulnerable group, besides aggravating health condition of COVID-19 patients or persons staying in home isolation,” the order said.
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