A Supreme Court bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan delivered a judgement on the Diwali cracker ban by lifting the blanket prohibition and replacing it with restrictions.
In the judgement handed down on 23 October, the bench allowed the sale and use of “green firecrackers” between 8-10 pm on Diwali and other days, with the timelines for Christmas and New Year being 11.45 pm to 12.15 am. Sales of crackers by online sites and unauthorised dealers were banned to ensure that there is no indiscriminate sale. The court also prohibited the use of certain chemicals that produce high emissions.
Facing significant financial losses over the strict regulations, the traders at Sivakasi, the hub of Firework manufacturing in India, have decided to file a review petition. Tamil Nadu Fireworks & Amorces Manufacturers Association is also likely to move the court to ask for relaxation in the verdict.
News Today quoted TN Fireworks & Amorces Manufacturers Association president Asaithambi as saying that traders and manufacturers have to deal with losses in the coming weeks.”It will affect us because here in Tamil Nadu people start bursting crackers from early in the morning. Also, the court has restricted the use of certain chemicals in the crackers that we manufacture. We need to find an alternative now,”
“We still need to discuss the issue with all the association members, and soon we will decide if we can file a review petition and ask for relaxation,” he said.
He added that crackers for this year’s Diwali have already been manufactured.
The report also quoted TN Fireworks & Amorces Manufacturers Association, Selvaraj as saying that “They haven’t banned fireworks – which is a good thing. Another thing is that people are allowed to burst crackers for just two hours. Taking the consumer’s point of view, I feel most families can finish bursting their crackers in this allotted time. What the court wants is for people to reduce the consumption of fireworks.”
The manufacturers point out a banned chemical Barium nitrate is a crucial ingredient for fireworks like sparklers, flowerpots, chakras that are among the best selling products.
“It is a chemical we use majorly. In the court judgement, the usage of this chemical has been banned. Now the fireworks manufacturers would need at least two to three months to find an alternative chemical to replace Barium nitrate. No matter what chemicals we use, we make sure that they have certain characteristics. Only when they get approval, they can be manufactured", he said.
He also spoke on the topic of green crackers which are recommended by the Supreme Court. He said that these crackers have low emission and are less likely to affect the human body.
The report claimed that the TN firework association has collaborated with CSIR Nagpur to research the green firecrackers. Selvaraj added that once the study is over, they would seek immediate approval and start production.
He expressed worry that they haven't yet made any green crackers yet. With regards to the new chemicals, he said that it might result in cost escalations, which could affect their business and result in job losses.
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