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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Gzb issues temporary licences to sell only green crackers

cities Updated: Oct 19, 2019 19:23 IST

Ghaziabad: The Ghaziabad district administration Saturday said it will issue only temporary licences for sale of fireworks ahead of Diwali on October 27, and the licences will be only for green (low emission) crackers, as directed by the Supreme Court last year. These crackers will be as per norms approved by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (Peso).

The administration, since the past fortnight, has been carrying out various drives to seize illegal fireworks. It has conducted raids at different places across the city, and at traditional fireworks manufacturing hub of Farrukhnagar near Loni.

The green crackers — developed by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) lab in Nagpur — are low sound-and light-emitting firecrackers with at least 30% reduction in emissions at no extra cost.

The categories covered are crackers, maroons, “atom bombs”, flowerpots, pencils and sparklers, all of which meet the PESO-approved green cracker norms. All packs carry green logo (QR coding) to track counterfeits. Traditional firecrackers use potassium nitrate, charcoal and sulphur to create sound, and barium nitrate (green) and strontium nitrate (red) for colour, and aluminium powder adds sparkle.

The firecrackers developed by CSIR-NEERI don’t contain any of the chemicals banned by the Supreme Court, such as lithium, arsenic, antimony, lead, barium and mercury, or use ash as desiccant (drying agent) or filler, charcoal use, according to PESO’ specifications of explosives and pyrotechnics.

Called Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL), these crackers on explosion release water vapour and/or air to suppress the dust particles generated. SWAS and STAR are free of potassium nitrate and sulphur, which reduces sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emission by at least 30%; while those called SAFAL have minimal aluminium, which lowers particulate matter emission after lighting by at least 35%.

“This year, ahead of Diwali, we have decided to issue temporary licences for trading but these will be only for sale of reduced emission green crackers. Even traders with permanent licences will be given an option to obtain temporary licences for trading purposes. For the purpose of obtaining the temporary licences, traders will be required to submit affidavits that they will deal only in green crackers and not sell any other non-designated fireworks,” Shalindra Kumar Singh, additional district magistrate (city), said.

The permanent licenses are generally given to wholesalers while temporary ones are given to retailers.

In September, the administration officials had said they will not be issuing new licences or renewing old ones of manufacturers in Farrukhnagar as there was no directions on this form the court.

“The hearing on a petition in this regard is being heard by the Supreme Court. In case there are further directions from the court, we will comply with those. Otherwise, there will be no new licences or renewals for manufacturers in Farrukhnagar,” the ADM said.

“We are trying to procure green crackers. Our manufacturing of traditional fireworks has been completely stopped,” Asif Ali, a fireworks’ manufacturer from Farrukhnagar, said.

In October 2018, the Supreme Court had directed that only “green firecrackers” with low emission and within permissible sound limit be sold and used. The court had also fixed the timing for bursting crackers — from 8pm to 10pm on Diwali.

The directions by the court had come in wake of rising air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

On October 5, Union minister for science & technology Dr Harsh Vardhan had launched green crackers and announced that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research labs have been successful in developing various environment friendly fireworks.

Vardhan had said that 165 fireworks manufactures were roped in producing green crackers and around 65 more are in the process of coming on board.