October 21, 2021 6:50:00 pm
The Karnataka government is likely to permit the bursting of green crackers during this year’s Diwali celebrations. The officials from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) said that they are awaiting the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines on this matter.
KSPCB member secretary Srinivasulu K said: “As of now no decision has been taken. Based on the CPCB guidelines, we will send our recommendations to the government. However, public health is the priority during Covid-19.”
Green crackers are developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) lab and product approval for the new formulation is given by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO).
An environment officer with the KSPCB said though they are awaiting the CPCB guidelines there is a high possibility that the government will relax norms and allow the sale of green crackers.
“Green crackers can be identified through the distinct green logo of CSIR-NEERI and PESO as well as a QR coding system. The consumers can identify the green crackers by scanning the QR code on NEERI mobile application. Crackers are anyway harmful during the Covid-19 times,” he said.
Environment consultant Mahesh Kashyap asked for a robust mechanism to check the sneaking of regular crackers inside the packets of green crackers.
“Crackers emit smoke, be it regular or green. It affects the respiratory system of people who may already have symptoms. This will aggravate their illness making them more susceptible to the coronavirus. Diwali is the festival of lights. The government should issue a blanket ban on the bursting of any type of crackers. Moreover, Covid is not yet over. Would the government tell us if the impact of green crackers on human health during Covid has been tested?” Kashyap said.
Last year, after issuing a blanket ban on the bursting of crackers, the state government came under attack from pro-Hindutva groups. Buckling under pressure, former chief minister BS Yediyurappa allowed green crackers.
Delhi, Odisha and Chandigarh have imposed a complete ban on firecrackers this Diwali season.
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