The firecracker industry is estimated to be worth Rs 20,000 crore, a quarter of which comprises imports from China. Sivakasi town in Tamil Nadu, the biggest cracker producer in India, manufactures fireworks worth around Rs 4,000 crore.
Green crackers failed to impress the buyers this Diwali. The ‘Green Crackers‘ was launched by the Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan to get rid of air pollution, flopped to attract the buyers because of the cost factor.
The Central Electro-Chemical Research Institute (CECRI) developed less polluting, quieter but brighter firecrackers. Yet, the cracker industry is not impressed, because it pinches their pocket. While CECRI, which is one of the research institutions under CSIT, worked on different chemical formulations for crackers, another CSIR arm, the Central Electronics Engineering Research (CEERI), Pilani, Rajasthan, worked on ‘electronic crackers’, which can produce sounds and lights without fire.
Berchmans Institute of Management Studies told AfternoonVoice, “Dust secretion comes down by 60 per cent if green crackers are used. This formulation was developed for use in sparklers such as ‘flower pots’ and ‘sparkling wire’. It is not only safe but has no side effects adding to pollution.”
Dinkar Vanjare, the firecracker shop owner in Kandivali said, “ Green Crackers are very costly and not affordable for commoners’ budget, moreover the choices too are limited. Fast-selling cracker, are ‘atom bomb’, Sutli Bomb and various other lightning crackers that are in affordable budget, people have their own speculations that is the reason green crackers miserably flopped. Looking at the population, not even 10 per cent people have purchased green crackers.”
CECRI developed a chemical cocktail that uses urea and hexamine instead of sulphur. The decibel level drops to 103-109, compared with 119-125 in the conventional ‘atom bombs’. The institution worked with the industry to develop green crackers. Krishna Fireworks of the Tamil Nadu Fireworks and Amorces Manufacturers Association (TANFAMA) was deputed to work with CECRI.
K Mariappan, General Secretary of the Association, said the industry was clearly not impressed with CECRI’s green crackers. While Vijaykant of Krishna Fireworks said the adoption of CECRI’s green crackers was, at best, a long way away.
Green crackers with 30 per cent fewer emissions is now available in the market, the step will help control pollution as well as take care of people’s sentiments.
With the menace of pollution and would help the fireworks industry which was facing closure after the Supreme Court in 2018 banned conventional firecrackers that have high emission levels and allowed only those that conform to permissible smoke and noise levels.