Pollution check by Supreme Court: “Green crackers”? Good thought but may be late


The Supreme Court made only the sale of “green and improved” fireworks mandatory at least in the national capital region (NCR) centered on New Delhi.

An order by supreme court just few days ahead of the major festival may not be able to bring the desired change and will be difficult to implement. It may serve as just a warning or create some awareness. Such orders have to come well ahead, may be   at least a year before, to set up a system for better control.  The resulting pollution is difficult   to control, unless society behaves more responsibly.

As a society, we have been using firecrackers to celebrate occasions, from festivals to landmark days and weddings to grand events, but there is a much bigger cost involved, the damage the bursting causes to the environment and of course the health hazards.

The intentions are good and right, but implementation may be difficult.

The court order means firecrackers that will emit fewer toxic pollutants will be manufactured and sold across India in the future although it wasn’t clear if the ruling on the sale of green fireworks will extend beyond the national capital and surrounding cities this coming Diwali, which is on November 7.

Diwali celebrants nationwide will get two hours between 8pm and 10pm to burst crackers during the festival in November, the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, and made only the sale of “green and improved” fireworks mandatory at least in the national capital region (NCR) centered on New Delhi, in a ruling that could significantly reduce air pollution that peaks in the festive season but could dent the business of cracker manufacturers and distributors.

Are there any “Green crackers” manufactured, or they exist. If they exist, will they be available in next few days.

With the Supreme Court permitting only ‘green firecrackers’ for a less-polluting Diwali, the manufacturers on Tuesday said “no such thing” exists and environmentalists wanted authorities to work real quick to ensure compliance.
Police officers said they do not have any equipment to measure the decibel levels of the firecrackers or the smoke they emit to ensure only ‘green’ firecrackers are being used and they would have to rely mostly on human intelligence and their sources on ground to ensure compliance.

It will be a difficult task to monitor whether shopkeepers are following guidelines since crackers are sold in bulk during Diwali. As per the court order, SHOs will be held liable if banned firecrackers are sold in their area.

Environment and health experts welcomed the order, saying it was time the society celebrated festivals “more responsibly”.

Implementation of the order is yet to be seen ,as  authorities would now have to ensure that the norms are adhered to more strictly, especially at the manufacturing level.

The current year production has already been completed. Now how industry can produce green crackers. In West Bengal, crackers are burst for two consecutive days — for Diwali and on Kali Puja the next day. Tamil Nadu has a tradition to burst crackers early morning on Diwali, while it is done mostly on Dussehra in Karnataka.

Cracker ban by Supreme Court is correct: Bliss for some, cannot be by infliction of other’s health. Need for Eco-friendly, non-polluting crackers.


An eight year old child, scared  and sitting terrified in mother’s lap, feeling breathless and feeling a bit dizzy. Deafening sound of crackers send shivers down her spine. Her mother closing all the doors of house avoiding the fumes entering  the room like ghosts from every small crevices, peepholes and slits. The mother prays for the smooth sail through these days and the child knows very well that the time and season has come when people will revel  more and more, with deafening sounds of crackers and she will writhe with suffocation and  air pollution in the same proportion.

Irony is that, someone else’s  entertainment and  ball  of a time with polluting toys adds to her suffering. Here the sufferer is not the real user. Unlike if someone smokes or drinks alcohol, it is the doer who is sufferer. But here the root cause of her trouble emanates from enjoyment of others.

Every year, Diwali celebrations add to enormous pollution and air becomes thick with smog and suspended particulate matter.  It is a cause of breathlessness in children and adults and vulnerable to asthmatic attacks.

Like this one child, there are thousands of them and people from all ages suffer during this season from the thrill of others. These sufferers, who are frustrated due to their plight, with no fault of theirs, have to undergo treatment and see the doctor or visit emergencies of the hospitals. This irresponsible behavior of people puts burden on the medical services and the doctors, who are already overstretched due to workload. But it is only the doctors and nurses, who are available and visible round the clock, whereas people who have polluted the air and the controllers and rulers of the weak medical system are invisible. Patients are discontented, but they catch the glimpse of only doctors and nurses, who are striving hard to comfort them. For many, it is very hard to understand the complexity of the situation. The fact is that these medics are the saviors, who are not with their families on festival, but are there for the patients. But patients many a times, will rather tend to blame the doctors for their sufferings, poor treatment and difficulty in treatment, without realizing that constant pollution is the reason for poor response to treatment.

This kind of understanding and support of patients to doctors is vital and can go long way in improving the doctor patient relationship. But that may be a distant dream.

Why polluting crackers are needed at all. Crackers can be banned altogether, all the days and whole of the year. Can there be non polluting crackers? With advancement in science it should not be a difficult discovery. Why all of us cannot  keep in mind the plight of such patients? We  should all pledge for eco-friendly and environmentally safe Deepawali.

At this point what court has done is a tough, but correct step that is to ban the crackers. Inconsequential pleasure of some cannot be at the cost of health and  life of others.

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