SC asks petitioners to clarify stand on ‘green crackers’

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked petitioners objecting to the use of chemicals like barium nitrate and potassium nitrate in the formulation of ‘green crackers’ to submit a reply detailing their stand on the issue.

A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer gave the direction in response to a request made by advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan, representing three toddlers who filed a writ petition against the toxic effects of firecrackers, urging that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests examine the samples of green crackers which contain “conventional formulations” with barium nitrate and potassium nitrate as oxidisers.

Mr. Sankaranarayanan had earlier submitted that these two components are among the several toxic ingredients which the Supreme Court had previously red-flagged. The usage of these chemicals in the improved/green crackers would be a violation of the Supreme Court’s orders against the use of noxious firecrackers.

On October 23, the apex court had struck a balance between the interests of the firecracker industry and the right to public health by allowing licensed traders to manufacture and sell “green” and reduced-emission or “improved” crackers while banning those which are loud and toxic to man, animal and the environment. The latest turn of events come after participants at a meeting of the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and fireworks’ manufacturers reached agreement on commencing bulk production of green crackers by March 30, the minutes of the meeting show.

As per the minutes, an agreement was reached for manufacturers to submit product approval documents by March 7. The Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation could then provide approval for the improved formulation by March 21, and production of the green fireworks could start by March 30.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:05:09 AM |

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