Delhi’s air quality went from ‘good’ to ‘poor’ in the past few years thanks to the increase in vehicular pollution in the city. And the pollution emitted by firecrackers during Diwali only adds fuel to the fire. In 2018, the Supreme Court had imposed a partial ban on sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital. The bursting of firecrackers was only allowed between 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali day. But thanks to the Supreme Court which banned the sale of firecrackers, this year it hopefully won’t be as hazardous. Since Delhites cannot breathe clean air even on regular days, ‘green crackers’ will be sold in the city during the festival of lights to avoid further deterioration of the air quality.
Those who want to celebrate the day by burning firecrackers can now buy these green crackers that will come with a unique logo and QR code. According to CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute officials, over 550 emission testing certificates have already been handed over to manufacturers. That makes up for over 70% of the major manufacturers.
The official told TOI:
“These green crackers will have both sound and light. There will be a unique logo on the boxes to help people identify whether they are buying low-emission green crackers or the regular highly-polluting ones. The green cracker boxes will also have QR codes which will have production and emission testing details.”
Even though the Supreme Court banned the sale of crackers last year, the order was violated in the Delhi-NCR due to absence of green crackers in the market during Diwali. But this year, green crackers will be available in Delhi-NCR this Diwali.
As per the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, firecrackers that cause 30-35% lower emissions of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and 35-40% lower sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions are categorised as ‘green crackers’.
The capital’s air quality was ‘very poor’ the very day after Diwali last year with the Air Quality Index reaching the 390 mark. The monitoring stations attributed the drop in the air quality to the burning of firecrackers. We hope the scenario this year will be much better.