New Delhi : In a bid to resolve the crisis of air pollution, the Government today launched green firecrackers. Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan today announced in a Press Conference in New Delhi,that Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) labs have been successful in developing various environment-friendly fireworks such as sound-emitting crackers, flowerpots, pencils, chakkar, and sparklers. He further pointed out that these fireworks, based on new formulations developed by CSIR, have been manufactured and are available in the Indian market for consumers and sellers.
He further informed that due to the ban that had been imposed as per the orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, there was a threat of imminent closure of the entire fireworks industry. However, Science has once again come to the rescue of the common man and millions of jobs have been saved due to the interventions made by our scientists.
CSIR-NEERI has developed eco-friendly ‘green crackers’ which are now available in the market for consumers for coming Diwali. Addressing media in Delhi today at Anusandhan Bhawan, I said these have been developed jointly with firework manufacturers.@PMOIndia @CSIR_IND pic.twitter.com/NOl79AMxqa
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) October 5, 2019
Many congratulations to the Scientists for providing an alternative to traditional crackers after the Apex court imposed a ban on sale of firecrackers. As Indians, it is a proud moment for us as we can now celebrate a safe and eco-friendly Diwali.@CSIR_IND @IndiaDST pic.twitter.com/iudLTAK8fB
— Dr Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) October 5, 2019
Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “I am very happy that on one hand, we would be using eco-friendly crackers this Deepawali, and, on the other hand, our traditional festival celebrations with lights and firecrackers shall remain intact. Millions of homes which are dependent on the sale and manufacture of fireworks will also rejoice this festival, thanks to our scientists!”
Dr. Harsh Vardhanalso highlighted that the emissions testing facilities for the new firecrackers have been set up at CSIR-NEERI as well as their approved National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration (NABL) facilities whose list is available at CSIR NEERI website. Further, a Raw Materials Compositional Analysis (RACE) facility has been launched in Sivakasi to facilitate manufacturers for testing their raw materials and chemicals. About 530 emissions testing certificates have been issued to fireworks manufactures for new and improved formulations meeting the stipulated guidelines of green crackers.
The Minister also lauded the efforts made by CSIR in developing these green crackers and informed that nearly 165 fireworks manufactures have been roped in and around 65 more manufacturers are in the process of coming on board.
To develop reduced emission/green fireworks, eight labs participated, CSIR–NEERI, CEERI, IITR, IICT, NCL, CECRI, NBRI, and CMERI, with CSIR NEERI coordinating the entire exercise. Firstly, for immediate improvement CSIR-NEERI developed improvements in conventional formulations based on Barium Nitrate to meet the stipulated norms of green crackers. The implementation of these formulations is subject to the approval of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. CSIR-NEERI have also developed new formulations for reduced emission light and sound emitting crackers with 30% reduction in particulate matter.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also mentioned that CSIR-NEERI along with Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO), Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEFCC) have also evolved a clear definition of green crackers with a view to educate the regulators and the public on ways and means to demarcate green crackers from conventional crackers. Apart from defining green crackers, baseline values for benchmarking green crackers and assessing Barium levels in conventional crackers and green crackers, have been laid down for legal and policy interventions.
During the press conference, Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the green crackers manufactured by licensee-manufacturers. He also informed that a green logo as well as a Quick Response (QR) coding system has been developed for the differentiation of green crackers from conventional crackers. QR codes are a novel feature incorporated on the firecrackers to avoid manufacture and sale of counterfeit products. This will also help the consumers to track the cracker using smartphones and other devices. Dr. Harsh Vardhan also indicated that the cost of the green crackers is almost the same as that of regular crackers.
Dr. Harsh Vardhanfurther informed that a helpline has been created for any queries related to emission certificates, QR Codes, and formulations. The helpline is available at +918617770964 and +919049598046, or, email at [email protected].
It is noteworthy to mention that Dr. Harsh Vardhan had, in 2018, exhorted the Indian scientific community to initiate R&D on environment-friendly fireworks. This was done to address not only the environmental concerns arising from the use of existing fireworks but also protect the livelihoods of millions of people engaged in the manufacture and sale of fireworks across the country.
The DG of CSIR, DrShekhar C Mande; Director, NEERI, Dr. Rakesh Kumar and Dr. SadhanaRayalu, NEERIwere amongst those present at the Press Conference.