New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that firecrackers other than green crackers will not be sold in the Delhi-NCR region this festival season.

A bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said firecrackers already produced can be sold in this festival season only in other parts of the country.

In Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and other southern states, firecrackers can be burst from 4 am to 5 am and from 9 pm to 10 pm during festivals, the apex court said.

It said its direction on community bursting of firecrackers will apply pan India for two hours.

Its directions on the ban on the sale of firecrackers through e-commerce websites will apply pan India, the court said.

What are green crackers?

Green crackers are those which can “reduce emission crackers”. Firecrackers that cause 30-35% lower emission of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and 35-40% lower emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide are categorised as “green crackers”. 

The products have a low content of aluminium and use of barium salt and ash as a drying agent is banned for such crackers. 

The clinical composition of fireworks will be reviewed by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, which would submit its report within two weeks.

But many manufacturers have opposed the idea of ‘green firecracker’. K Mariappan, General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers' Association, told newspapers that the court direction on the use of only 'green crackers' Will not work as "there is no such thing".

Manufacturers are also saying that they cannot produce such (green) crackers. They can reduce the chemicals used in manufacturing. But that will take more time.

Officials too are not sure how to categorise between "green" firecrackers and polluting firecrackers as there is no instrument to check the same.

Annual firecracker sales amount to Rs 15,000-20,000 crore, of which at least Rs 5,000 crore come from Chinese imports.

With agency inputs