Avoid bursting firecrackers as much as possible this Diwali, Delhi minister appeals to people

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New Delhi, Nov 3 (PTI) Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday urged Delhiites to avoid bursting firecrackers as much as possible this Diwali in the interests of public health and environment.

The minister launched an 'anti-cracker' campaign and inspected various places to ensure that only 'green' firecrackers are manufactured and sold in the city.

'Only 'green' firecrackers can be manufactured, sold and used in Delhi this Diwali as per a Supreme Court order issued in 2018. However, I appeal to everyone to avoid bursting firecrackers as much as possible,' Rai told reporters.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), all district magistrates and the Delhi Police have been asked to ensure that only 'green' crackers are sold, Rai told reporters.

Enforcement teams will also ensure that traders procure green firecrackers from authorised manufacturers.

In 2018, the Supreme Court had banned the use of polluting firecrackers and allowed the sale of 'green' firecrackers in a bid to control air pollution.

The 'green crackers' are not as polluting as the conventional types of firecrackers and they contain at least 30 per cent less particulate matter such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

The CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute was tasked with the job of developing 'green crackers'. But only a few varieties were available in the market last year due to licensing requirements.

Earlier, the DPCC had said that people can burst firecrackers between 8 pm and 10 pm only on festivals like Diwali and Gurpurab, he said.

On Christmas eve and New Year eve, it would be from 11:55 pm till 12:30 am only.

'Only licensed traders can sell firecrackers compliant with PESO (Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation) prescribed standards. No e-commerce websites can accept any online orders,' it had said. PTI GVS SMN SMN