The Supreme Court had banned the bursting of barium salt-based firecrackers across the nation, allowing citizens to celebrate the festival with only green firecrackers.
However, the top court had made it clear that there isn’t a blanket ban on the use of firecrackers, stating that only those firecrackers which are found to be injurious to health and affecting the environment were banned.
Various state governments and Union Territories also issued guidelines and regulations regarding the bursting of firecrackers as directed, allowing only eco-friendly crackers.
Likewise, the Assam Pollution Control Board has also issued an order of bursting only green firecrackers from 8 pm to 10 pm during the festivity.
Green crackers can be identified through a QR code on their packaging through the CSIR NEERI app that can be installed from the Google PlayStore.
On enquiring about whether local shops have only green firecrackers, a seller from Assam said, “We have a mixture of both varieties of firecrackers. The normal crackers are from the older stock. We have put them up so that they can be sold out and no old stock remains.”
On being asked what people prefer, another seller said it all depends on the buyers. “Some people are very concerned about the environmental hazards and, hence, they are buying green crackers. As green crackers cost more, many others go for the cheaper alternatives and purchase these normal firecrackers,” the seller explained.
But there were some vendors who were not even aware of green firecrackers because they were operating very small local shops.
The pandemic has also had its effect. “We were not sure if we could bring any firecrackers to sell in the market for Diwali this year. The effect of the pandemic seemed decreased to us when people started shopping for Durga puja and, hence, we have brought wholesale green fireworks for the festival of Diwali from West Bengal, Bangalore and Barpeta,” another vendor said.
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