March 28, 2020 | 9:07 PM IST
curb pollution

Centre opposes total ban on firecrackers, suggest options to curb pollution

The Centre has opposed a complete nationwide ban on firecrackers and pleads the Supreme Court to introduce a regulatory mechanism in order to restrain manufacturers from using polluting raw materials to curb pollution. In a statement filed by the Ministry for Environment and Forests, the Centre said the production of series crackers could be banned and firecrackers could even be burst in areas pre-designated by the State governments.
The Supreme Court was hearing a bunch of applications seeking a complete nationwide ban on the use, manufacture, licensing, sale, resale or distribution of firecrackers and sparklers of any kind in a bid to combat pollution on an emergency basis. Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni told the Supreme Court bench of Justices A.K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that the Centre took the stand post consultation with expert bodies like National Environment Engineering Research Institute, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Central Pollution Control Board, and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO).
The Centre suggested reducing the use of desiccant or filler materials which will certainly lower the pollution by 15-20%. The Government said PESO could be approached to ensure that the crackers will decibel levels are allowed with use of permitted chemicals and could run tests for banned fillers like lithium, antimony, arsenic, lead, and mercury. Those violating the regulations, the Centre can suspend the manufacturer’s licence. Cracker manufacturers urged the SC to set in take into consideration the suggestions filed by the Centre in August, before the Diwali season this year.

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