The use of firecrackers during Diwali or any other festival, for that matter, has severe effects on the environment. It cannot be denied that they add to both air and noise pollution, which should be our concern as citizens. However, the AQI in several parts of India, and especially Delhi has been deteriorating each year – which adds to the severity of the situation.
As a result, the Supreme Court shared a directive prohibiting firecrackers containing barium. This extends to all states and is not confined solely to the Delhi-NCR region, which is currently dealing with serious air pollution. The states which are allowed to manufacture and sell firecrackers, can only work with the green ones.
Most states in the country have either banned crackers or have issued rules for bursting them on Diwali. Here are the state-wise directives:
1. Maharashtra: The Bombay High Court granted permission to burst firecrackers during Diwali for a duration of three hours, specifically from 7 pm to 10 pm.
2. West Bengal: The West Bengal government has chosen to exclusively sell green crackers featuring QR codes this Diwali. These environmentally friendly firecrackers are allowed to be used for a limited period of two hours, specifically from 8 pm to 10 pm on Diwali.
3. Delhi: To curb pollution levels, the Delhi government has prohibited the production, storage, sale, and use of all types of firecrackers, including environmentally friendly ones, until January 1, 2024.
4. Punjab: During Diwali, the use of environmentally friendly or green firecrackers is permitted between 8 pm and 10 pm. On Guruparv, people are allowed to burst crackers from 4 am to 5 am and from 9 pm to 10 pm.
5. Karnataka: The state government has instructed officials to limit the use of firecrackers during Diwali to a two-hour window, specifically from 8 pm to 10 pm. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board officials have hence formed a dedicated task force to oversee the sale of exclusively “green crackers.”
6. Haryana: The Gurugram district administration issued a directive prohibiting the production, sale, and storage of all categories of firecrackers. This order, effective from November 1, will remain in force until January 31.
7. Uttar Pradesh: The police departments of Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh have also enforced a prohibition on the sale of firecrackers and have abstained from issuing licenses for their sale.
8. Tamil Nadu: The Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has released guidelines permitting the bursting of crackers during Diwali but within specified time slots. As per the advisory, individuals are authorized to use crackers only from 6 am to 7 am and 7 pm to 8 pm.
Crackers impact the health and the environment, and while there’s no logical reasoning behind using them, it’s better to buy the green ones.