ADVERTISEMENT
Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » 2-hour window for green crackers on Diwali

Legal

2-hour window for green crackers on Diwali

The order means all traditional fireworks, noisy or otherwise, are banned

Jayanta Basu | Published 28.10.21, 07:28 AM
Green fireworks, also called “green crackers”, are low-emission fireworks that are made of materials that cause less pollution.

Green fireworks, also called “green crackers”, are low-emission fireworks that are made of materials that cause less pollution.

File picture

The West Bengal Pollution Control Board on Wednesday issued a directive banning in the state all kinds of fireworks, except “green fireworks” that  can be burst for two hours from 8pm on Diwali (November 4).

The order means all traditional fireworks, noisy or otherwise, are banned.

ADVERTISEMENT

But since the pollution control board has not recommended any list of green fireworks, activists and others fear the order will only facilitate the sale and use of banned items in the guise of green fireworks.

The PCB order states: “There shall be a complete ban on the sale and bursting of all kinds of firecrackers, except green crackers in the state of West Bengal (and) bursting of such crackers shall be allowed for two hours during Diwali….”

Green fireworks, also called “green crackers”, are low-emission fireworks that are made of materials that cause less pollution.

“We have issued the directive in accordance with the order issued by the Supreme Court on October 23, 2018, and the National Green Tribunal’s orders on November 9 and December 1, 2020,” PCB chairman Kalyan Rudra said.

Asked about green crackers, Rudra said no such list was with the board.

“We are not supposed to have any. According to a Supreme Court order, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) are clearing a list of green crackers,” said an official of the board.

“So far, we have no idea of green crackers, to be produced and marketed at large,” said a NEERI official.

Environment activists pointed out that the PCB’s latest directive would cause confusion and could pave the way for the production and sale of illegal fireworks in the garb of green crackers.

“Why has the PCB in its order referred to the Supreme Court order that was issued in the pre-Covid times and not the high court order in November last year, which banned all kinds of fireworks,” said activist Naba Datta, secretary of the environment platform, Sabuj Mancha.

Biswajit Mukherjee, retired chief law officer of the PCB and former high court-appointed special officer of noise control, pointed out that the latest directive of the board might cause confusion among people and allow sale of illegal fireworks.

“Every year the PCB clears a list of permissible fireworks. As the PCB has allowed green fireworks this year, it should come out with a list. Otherwise, illegal fireworks will be sold just with a green sticker,” said Mukherjee.

Another activist pointed out that the Supreme Court had ordered a CBI inquiry into the allegation that toxic chemicals were used to produce so-called green fireworks.

A member of the Sara Bangla Atas Baji Unnayan Samiti claimed on Wednesday, after the PCB issued the order, that they would sell green crackers. It, however, refrained from stating from where such crackers would come.

Subhankar Manna, general secretary of Paschim Baji Shilpo Unnayan Samity, however, said he had no clue about green crackers. “I have not seen any legal green crackers,” Manna said.

He said they would wait for the high court’s hearing on fireworks on Friday before deciding on their course of action, including whether baji bazaars will be held in the city.

“Printing of the ‘green cracker’ stickers has already started in the city. If the PCB and police do not become proactive, illegal fireworks will mushroom with the green stickers,” said a representative of the fireworks association.

Last updated on 28.10.21, 07:28 AM
Share:
ADVERTISEMENT

More from My Kolkata