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Diwali Cracker Black Markets a Recipe for Air Pollution Disaster

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph

On Diwali, the Gurugram administration and the Uttar Pradesh government have agreed to allow the bursting of green crackers for two hours if the air quality is moderate (AQI between 100 and 200) or better.

The Delhi government outlawed the storage, sale, and use of all types of crackers for Diwali on September 15. The use of crackers during Diwali (which this year falls on November 4) is reported to have resulted in significant pollution, putting the festival's air quality in danger zones.

This was followed by a Supreme Court order on Friday requiring state governments and union territories to closely follow its judgement forbidding the sale, production, and use of illegal firecrackers. However, the court stressed that firecrackers are not prohibited entirely and that green cracker can be used during Diwali.

Despite this prohibition on the sale and usage of firecrackers, a black market has emerged in several sections of the National Capital, potentially allowing individuals to break Diwali rules and spark an air pollution disaster.

The Delhi government has outright prohibited the sale and use of firecrackers and an older prohibition imposed by the National Green Tribunal (and upheld by the Supreme Court) prohibits the sale and use of those created with barium-based compositions in the National Capital Region (NCR). Green firecrackers are those that do not include barium, however, their certification and truthfulness have proved difficult to ascertain.

Officials from the Ghaziabad administration, on the other hand, stated that they will enforce the order while keeping the city's current air quality in mind. The bursting of crackers is also prohibited under the Grap regulations for ‘very bad' air quality that are now in effect in Delhi-NCR.

Although the Gurugram deputy commissioner's order said that cracker bursting would be permitted between the hours of 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., the Uttar Pradesh government's decree did not specify these hours.

With the meetings on Air pollution going on in Italy (COP 26) and India being among the most polluted countries, its our job as a nation to curb our air pollution outputs and help leave a better world for our future generations.

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