Ban firecrackers or burst the “greens”? States take call before Diwali

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This year, several states are choosing to relax the total fireworks ban and have given the green light to the use of green crackers, which emit 30% less particles into the air.

The sale and use of firecrackers has been banned in New Delhi. PTI photo

Ahead of Diwali, as the deadly coronavirus looms in the air, several states have totally or partially banned firecrackers, while others have given the green signal to celebrate the festive spirit with crackers believed to be of a variety low emissions.

The peak in air pollution levels also during the Dussehra New Years festival season (October to December) in cities like Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) has become a serious cause for concern. . Crackers emit very high PM2.5 particles, with the strongest producing snake tablet of all, according to a press report.

In 2015, three children knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court (SC) to complain about dangerous air pollution in the capital during Diwali, the Supreme Court banned it in New Delhi and throughout the NCR region during Diwali 2018, said The Hindu. Also last year, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered the sale and use of crackers to be banned in the NCR until November 30.

This year, several states are choosing to relax the total fireworks ban and have given the green light to green crackers, which emit 30% less particles into the air.

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What are green crackers?

Green Crackers are low emission fireworks licensed by the SC for people to celebrate during the holiday season. These green crackers, researched and developed by experts from CSIR-NEERI (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research – National Environmental Engineering Research Institute), have been manufactured with a chemical formulation that ensures a reduction in particulate emissions into the atmosphere by eliminating dust produced.

While regular crackers emit around 160 decibels of sound, sound levels with green crackers are limited to 110-125 decibels. One of the key things about green crackers is that although they use polluting chemicals like aluminum, barium, potassium nitrate, and carbon, the amount is reduced, which reduces emissions by approximately 30%, according to a report published in News18.

While the coronavirus still threatens our lives, this year many states are very cautious and have decided to either ban or go green.

Read also : Court orders, COVID lowers pollution levels during Diwali in Telugu states

Total ban on crackers in the capital

Arvind Kejriwal’s government imposed a complete ban on the storage, sale and use of all types of firecrackers until January 1, 2022. The decision was made after the government studied pollution levels in Delhi during the festival months for the past three years.

Besides skyrocketing air pollution levels leading to health problems in Delhi, the government has felt that social distancing standards will be violated if people come together to burst firecrackers. Meanwhile, Delhi police cracked down on the illegal distribution of firecrackers and the News18 report citing the ANI news agency said cops raided the Sadar Bazaar area in north Delhi this week in mid -October, seizing more than 470 kg of illegal fireworks. The owner of the building was arrested.

Delhi’s government wants its neighboring states – Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh – to announce a complete ban on the sale and purchase of crackers in order to reduce pollution levels in the capital.

Green signal only for green crackers in Rajasthan

The government of Rajasthan initially banned the sale and use of crackers in the state. But the government has backed down and has now allowed “only” green cookies. Locals can only pop green crackers from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at festivals like Diwali and Guruparb, from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Chhath puja, and from 11:55 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. on Christmas and New Years.

But the state is careful with places that already have a bad air quality index. And, it was necessary to verify if they were really “green” by scanning the QR code on the box issued by the CSIR-NEERI.

Also read: 11 dead in fireworks factory explosion in Tamil Nadu

Haryana calls for a total ban

In Haryana, due to the drop in air quality that the region witnesses at this time of year, as well as the burning of stubble in neighboring districts, the government has decided to ban the air altogether. sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in 14 neighborhoods. The Haryana State Pollution Board had strongly criticized the distribution of firecrackers. The ordinance comes after directives issued by the NGT and the SC on restrictions on the use of crackers.

Odisha forbids the sale, the use of firecrackers

In October, Odisha’s government issued a statement in its COVID-19 guidelines banning the use and sale of fireworks in the state during the month. To curb the spread of the infection, the sale and use of firecrackers will remain banned during this holiday month, the government said in its guidelines, which will remain in effect from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1.

Tamil Nadu

Meanwhile, TN Chief Minister MP Stalin, who advocates the use of firecrackers, urged Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to lift the ban and to authorize the sale of firecrackers conforming to established standards. by the Supreme Court and the National Green Court.

Ludhiana has also banned the bursting of firecrackers due to the pandemic crisis to protect the health of the community as a whole through the synergy between air pollution and respiratory infections, he said.

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Pic: IStock

What the Supreme Court says

The Supreme Court previously refused to ban the sale of firecrackers altogether and said the sale can only be done through licensed traders and only green firecrackers can be sold. However, the online sale of firecrackers has been completely banned.

The verdict came in response to a demand to ban the manufacture and sale of firecrackers across the country to combat air pollution, according to an India Today report.

In the past, the Supreme Court has said that in deciding to ban firecrackers it is imperative to take into account the basic right to subsistence of firecracker makers and the right to health of more than 1.3 billion people. in the country.

A report from the Hindustan Times said the SC said authorities could allow the sale and use of firecrackers according to the air quality index category in cities. The Supreme Court said it was not against the celebration, but not at the cost of the lives of other citizens. In addition, crackers do not necessarily have to mean the use of loud crackers, it can also be with “fuljhaddi” and the like that are not loud, he said, the News18 report added.

The SC said their “previous order” must be respected by each state. “Despite the fact that there is a specific ban on common crackers, if you go to any state or city or any celebration, common crackers are openly available in the market,” the SC said.


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