NGT favours least polluting crackers; asks govt to regulate

Thursday, Apr 7, 2016,16:27 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | With a view to reduce air pollution caused by fire-crackers, the National Green Tribunal has directed the government to regulate their chemical composition and bring them within the stipulated Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) standards.

A bench headed by Justice U D Salvi directed Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), responsible for regulation of explosives, to prepare and prescribe chemical composition of least-polluting crackers to control the release of harmful chemicals in the environment.

PESO shall undertake exercise to formulate and prescribe chemical composition of least air polluting fireworks/fire crackers so as to control generation of contaminants on bursting or use of such fireworks/fire crackers within the stipulated AAQ standards and shall communicate such chemical composition to MoEF within two months for its enforcement.

We direct Environment Ministry to take such requisite steps for enforcing such standards of least air polluting crackers upon receipt of such standards expeditiously, the green panel said. The direction came during hearing of a plea by advocate Piyush Singh who has claimed that firecrackers had severe impact on the environment and causes air and noise pollution.

Seeking designated time and place for use of firecrackers during festivals like Diwali, Singh has contended that the chemicals released into the environment due to bursting of crackers caused negative effects on the health. In October last year, the Supreme Court had refused to order a blanket ban of fireworks during Diwali on a plea by three infants.

The apex court had expressed its displeasure over government’s failure to implement its order to sensitise the public on the ill-effects of bursting of crackers and asked the concerned agencies to launch publicity campaigns in the media on the harmful impact of firecrackers during the festival season.