Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has urged his counterparts in Delhi, Odisha, Rajasthan and Haryana to allow sale of green crackers. In a letter to his four counterparts, Stalin requested them to allow the sale of firecrackers that falls within the norms set by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in their states during this Diwali.
Citing the apex court's order of allowing green crackers, Stalin said a blanket ban was not reasonable. "Such a ban is not prevalent in other countries. Moreover, such a ban if imposed by other states also, would lead to the closure of the entire industry, jeopardising the livelihood of around 8 lakh persons," Stalin said.
"You would also appreciate that bursting of firecrackers is an integral part of Indian festivals, especially Diwali. A balanced approach that gives due regard to environment, livelihood and public health is possible and necessary," he added.
Nearly 90% of the country's firecrackers are made in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu and about eight lakh workers are dependent for their livelihoods on this sector.
Know more about green crackers
'Green' crackers are said to cause around 30% less pollution than the average cracker. Sci0entists at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSRI) NEERI, had developed formulations to make firecrackers that reduce air pollution by 30-40%.
'Green' crackers have a small shell size compared to traditional crackers. They are produced using less harmful raw materials and have additives which reduce emissions by suppressing dust, as per a Hindu report.
While regular crackers emit about 160 decibels of sound, green crackers’ emission rate is limited to 110-125 decibels and Manufacturers need to sign a deal with the CSIR in order to make fireworks using the green cracker formulation, says a report by Hindustan Times.
But when samples of such 'green' crackers were tested by the NGO Awaaz Foundation have revealed that most of these 'green' crackers contain hazardous chemicals banned by the Supreme Court. All ‘green' crackers’ (including those allegedly bearing the ‘green cracker’ stamp of NEERI,which had developed barium-free formulations), contain hazardous and banned chemicals, including barium nitrate and also potassium nitrate and sulphur.
The Supreme Court Tuesday had in 2019 permitted the sale and manufacture of low emission “green” firecrackers countrywide and fixed a two-hour time period from 8 pm to 10 pm for bursting them on Diwali and other festivals.