Fireworks manufacturers from Sivakasi have sought Prime Minister, Narendra Modi’s intervention, in getting a legal nod for resuming production of joined crackers and crackers with reduced-quantity of Barium Nitrate for the survival of the industry.
Various associations of manufacturers are sending their memorandum to the Prime Minister, President of India and various Union Ministers for early intervention so that the industry could step up its production.
“With repeated warnings from the Centre, State and district administration against manufacturing joined crackers and fireworks using Barium Nitratre as directed by the Supreme Court, the production has been reduced to a meagre 20 per cent after Deepavali.The industry is struggling to pay the workers for the last three months with the reduced production,” said president of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers’ Association, P. Ganesan.
“The Supreme Court banned the use of Barium Nitrate and joined crackers in 2018.Subsequently, in a 2019 order it allowed the use of reduced Barium Nitratre along with additives based on the new composition recommended by Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and directed the Ministry to file quality control and regulatory procedures,” said Mr. Ganesan..
The Ministry had filed its affidavit in December 2019 with a table detailing the steps to be taken immediately for implementation of green fireworks / green firecrackers. It had suggested various action, responsibility and implementing agencies to ensure the quality control of the green fireworks/crackers.
The manufacturers claimed that the petitioner had consistently mislead the Supreme Court regarding the previous orders by saying Barium Nitrate is banned, though it had very clearly allowed reduced Barium Nitrate with additives.
Stating that Supreme Court passed an interim order on October 29, 2021 reproducing the 2018 order banning the use of barium salts and joined crackers, the manufacturers said the order did not mention the developments, suggestions and recommendations of Ministry of Environment, CSIR-NEERI, Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation and Central Pollution Control Board.
Approve CSIR-NEERI guidelines
Supreme Court was yet to take up the affidavits of the Ministry filed subsequently on the implementation, regulation and quality control of green fireworks/crackers.The manufacturers have appealed to the Prime Minister to approve the CSIR-NEERI guidelines with reduced Barium Nitrate along with additives as per the Apex Court order.
Besides, the Ministry of Environment should file its affidavit in the Supreme Court recommending the green joined firecrackers using Potassium Nitrate as oxidizer without ash to enable the industry resume production of joined crackers that formed 35% of the fireworks production.
They also sought an exemption to bursting of crackers during Deepavali from Environmental Protection Act. The air quality would return to pre-Deepavali level within 12 to 48 hours after bursting of fireworks for one or two days during the festival season, they said.