Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday that only green firecrackers can be manufactured, sold and used in the national capital. He also said the Delhi government will launch an anti-firecracker campaign from November 3 and requested people not to burn crackers at all considering the seriousness of the situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Only 'green' firecrackers can be manufactured, sold and used in Delhi this Diwali as per a Supreme Court order issued in 2018, he told reporters. In 2018, the Supreme Court had banned the use of polluting firecrackers and allowed the sale of 'green' firecrackers in a bid to control air pollution.
The 'green' crackers are not as polluting as the conventional types of firecrackers and they contain at least 30 per cent less particulate matters such as Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide.
The CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute was tasked with the job of developing 'green' crackers. But only a few varieties were available in the market last year due to licensing requirements.
The minister said smoke from firecrackers and stubble burning make Delhi's air hazardous every year. The government will launch an anti-cracker campaign from November 3. Under it, 11 special squads of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and city police will inspect firecracker manufacturing units to ensure that there is no old stock left, he said.
Strict action will be taken against the violators under the Environmental Protection Act and Air Act, he said. In fact, I appeal to the people of Delhi to launch a no-crackers' campaign. They should try and avoid burning firecrackers completely considering the seriousness of the situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rai said.