It is going to be Diwali Dhamaka for CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) as almost all the 1,070 fireworks units in Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu are expected to sign up with it for formulations to make green crackers, said the cracker manufacturer.
"The CSIR-NEERI is going to be like a monopoly as it will be the supplier of formulations for the units involved in fire cracker manufacturing and also the emission level certifying agency. One of the ingredients in the formulation provided by CSRI-NEERI is Zeolite for which it owns the patent," the manufacturer preferring anonymity told IANS.
He said there are about 1,070 units in Sivakasi and surrounding places involved in fire cracker manufacturing.
"Depending on the size of the unit, CSIR-NEERI charges a licence fee of Rs 30,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs.10,000 for using its formulation. The blended average fee comes to Rs 20,000 and for about 1,070 units CSIR-NEERI will be earning about Rs 2.1 crore. This apart CSIR-NEERI will charge emission testing fee per product," he said.
Already over 300 units have entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CSIR-NEERI.
Allaying the industry fears an official of CSIR-NEERI said the research organisation will not be a monopoly provider of formulations and certification services.
"CSIR-NEERI is certifying green crackers made by manufacturers with their own formulations," a CSIR-NEERI official not wanting to be quoted told IANS.
Queried whether fireworks manufacturers have to renew the agreement with CSIR-NEERI at the end of two years the official answering in affirmative said: "The MoU/NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) needs to be renewed as per guidelines of CSIR for continuation of manufacturing of fireworks using CSIR-NEERI's formulations."
On the issue of conflict of interest for CSIR-NEERI (it is the formulation provider for a fee, patent holder for an ingredient and certifying agency) the official: "To the best of our knowledge there is no conflict of interest as the methodology has been validated by Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)."
"Third party verification and substantiation of methodology has happened in other NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) labs as well," the official added.
Adding further, the official said: "We have emissions testing facilities and have also trained other NABL labs to cater to the needs of voluminous samples anticipated form fireworks manufacturers."
More than 500 emissions testing certificates have been issued to fireworks manufacturers so far, the official said.
CSIR-NEERI has issued certificates for sound-emitting crackers, flower pots, ground wheel, pencils, sparklers, aerial shots and others.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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