Green crackers to the rescue of choking city
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Green crackers to the rescue of choking city

The green crackers don't contain any banned chemicals such as lithium, arsenic, barium and lead.

Green crackers to the rescue of choking city

Choti Diwali is here! But many people are clueless where to get the much-talked about green crackers touted to be environment-friendly.

“Diwali is not a Diwali without crackers,” declared a man searching for firecrackers in Delhi’s local market. He said he does not care if the city get chocked by pollution.

For such die-hard Diwali revellers, green crackers are a safer bet. These green crackers have been developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National, Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). They are capable of reducing emissions up to 30 per cent as have been tested by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) for effectiveness in all the aspects.

These crackers have been named SWAS, STAR and SAFAL. The green crackers don't contain any banned chemicals such as lithium, arsenic, barium and lead.

SWAS stands for Safe Water Releaser and in Hindi means “breath”. Upon burning SWAS crackers, water vapors will be released, restricting dust particles to rise.

Such crackers eliminate potassium nitrate and sulphur and thereby brings down emission of particulate matter (PM), SO2, and NOx up to 35 per cent. As for the noise is concerned, these crackers produce the same noise as a commercial cracker.

Another variety is Safe Thermite Cracker (STAR) which helps in cutting down sulfur emission. Notably, sulphur and nitrogen are two major air pollutants and cause harmful environmental fallout in the form of acid rain and smog.  STAR crackers will help in reducing that impact.

Safe Minimal Aluminium (SAFAL) is a cracker that minimizes the use of aluminum reducing particulate matter.

Where can these green cracker be found?

In Delhi, green crackers are sold in Sadar Bazaar Market and one may find it if they are lucky. Out of 12 people who applied for the license only seven were given the temporary license to sell green crackers on Wednesday. While in Noida, stalls of green crackers are yet to come up at Ramleela ground in Sector 62.

As per the traders, the supply is low, there are only two variants of firecrackers available — phuljhari (sparklers) and anar (flowerpots). Since these crackers are priced at a higher range, no one is buying them. 

Some roadside vendors around Jama Masjid area were also found selling Chinese varieties of crackers that burst like ‘pop-ups’ and are banned in Delhi.

While the green crackers in Sadar Bazaar were being sold between the range of Rs 80 and 500, as per the owner of Sardar ji Green Patakewale in Kamla Nagar West, the prices were fluctuating as per the demand and there was no static rate.

Apprehensions about green crackers 

Though an improvement is seen in the availability of green crackers than last year, police have been seizing traditional firecrackers which are being smuggled because not everyone has access to the eco-friendly cracker and those who do are disappointed with the lack of variety.

CitySpidey spoke to few Delhi-based environmentalists who were not sure that the green crackers may actually result in lower pollution levels and health risks. As per them, there was no enough evidence or data to support that such crackers will not create pollution.

Medical experts are also unsure if this could help in reducing respiratory issues. Dr Anilesh Kumar told our reporter that in the last one week, number of patients visiting him has already doubled and he expects more to come post-Diwali like every year.