Diwali 2020: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, others allow sale of green crackers, here’s what you need to know

Green crackers come in two categories: one without barium salt and the other with lesser quantities of barium. Both would lead to a 30 percent to 35 percent emission reduction

FP Trending November 11, 2020 16:06:11 IST
Diwali 2020: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, others allow sale of green crackers, here’s what you need to know

Representational image. Sivakasi Fireworks

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and a few other states have allowed the bursting of green crackers this Diwali. In Karnataka, after initially banning firecrackers, the BS Yediyurappa government modified its order stating that people are allowed to sell and use 'green firecrackers' during Diwali.

Andhra Pradesh too has stated that only green crackers are to be sold and used in the state.

News Agency ANI tweeted that the Government of Andhra Pradesh has allowed the sale of green crackers, however, they can be used for two hours from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali day.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh too announced that citizens would be allowed to burst green firecrackers for two hours on Diwali and Gurupurab.

Even in Delhi, only two types of green crackers have been allowed to be sold — anars (sparklers) and phuljharis (flowerpots). Furthermore, across India, only 30 manufacturers have received the licence to manufacture green crackers.

The Uttarakhand government too has permitted the sale of green crackers in Dehradun, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Haldwani Rudrapur and Kashipur. The government has fixed a time slot (8 pm to 10 pm) on Diwali and Gurupurab during which crackers can be burst. On Chhath, green crackers will be allowed between 6 am and 8 am.

What are green firecrackers?

Back in 2018, the Supreme Court had banned conventional firecrackers and instead, allowed only green firecrackers, which cause 30 percent less pollution.

These green crackers were researched and developed by scientists at CSIR-NEERI as per the court's directive.

According to a report in The Hindu, these 'green' crackers have a smaller shell size and are produced using lesser harmful raw materials and include additives that reduce emissions by suppressing dust.

Green crackers do not contain banned chemicals like lithium, arsenic, barium, and lead. They are also called Safe Water Releaser (SWAS), Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR), and Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL) crackers.

According to a report in Deccan Herald, green crackers come in two categories: one without barium salt and the other with lesser quantities of barium.

"Both would lead to a 30 percent to 35 percent emission reduction. It has also been proved that green crackers emit 125 decibels of sound, compared to 160 emitted by conventional crackers," the article added.

Barium nitrate is a pollutant chemical used in atom bombs, flowerpots, and sparklers.

Some crackers to feature QR code to help identify the original

With many state governments only allowing green firecrackers during Diwali, manufacturers have turned to technology to help buyers figure out the eco-friendly variety.

Another report in Deccan Herald, quoted P Ganesan, the president of the Tamil Nadu Crackers Manufacturers’ Association, as saying that this year, the cracker boxes would be sealed ‘green firework’ with QR codes. Buyers can scan the QR code to verify the authenticity of the firecracker. However, he admitted that manufacturers are still developing the identification method better.

With a number of festivals right around the corner, including Diwali, Kali Puja, and Chhath Puja, a number of states and union territories have imposed a complete ban on the sale and use of all forms of firecrackers. The ban has been imposed due to the onset of winter and a rise in COVID-19 cases in several states across India.

Experts opine that the smoke and pollutants caused due to the bursting of firecrackers may be harmful for COVID-19 patients.

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