Those developed by CSIR yet to be certified: officials
There is little likelihood of ‘green’ firecrackers being available in the market in time for this year’s Deepavali even though a clutch of CSIR laboratories have developed them, according to Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, who didn’t specify a timeline for when such improved crackers would become commercially available.
The CSIR, which employed seven of its 39 labs over a year in a ₹65 lakh project, said it was in talks with manufacturers and “had approached” the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation to analyse and test the crackers for safety and viability.
In an order last week, the Supreme Court said that only ‘green’ firecrackers would be permitted across the country this Deepavali. Broadly, such crackers are defined as those which avoid harmful chemicals and, in the manufacturing process, eschew the use of ash, which contributes to particulate matter emissions when burnt. They would have to avoid barium, lithium, arsenic and lead. They would also, as far as possible, have a significantly reduced presence of aluminium.
The Nagpur-based CSIR-NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) had demonstrated “reduced emission crackers” in which aluminium had been replaced by magnesium and magnesium-based compounds. “These products showed promising results in terms of reduced emission of particulate matter (PM), toxic gases, less smoke and less noise,” CSIR-NEERI said in a press statement.
Rakesh Kumar, Director, CSIR-NEERI, said that while the prototypes could be made ready within two months, questions relating to the licensing of the technology to manufacturers, how much CSIR would be paid for it and the availability in stores were still to be resolved.
By Jacob Koshy