Karnataka govt defines 'green crackers' after HC raises questions

The Karnataka High Court said that crackers without the distinct green logo of CSIR-NEERI and PESO cannot be sold.
Fireworks rep image
Fireworks rep image
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The Karnataka government on Thursday clarified that green crackers can be identified through the distinct green logo of the CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) and Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) as well as quick response coding systems. "Green crackers packing can be identified through distinct green logo of CSIR-NEERI and PESO as well as a quick response (QR) coding system...The above features will assist in differentiating green crackers from conventional crackers," the new order issued by the Karnataka government stated.

The High Court on Friday said that any cracker without the green logo cannot be sold and asked the state government if an officer had been designated to check if green crackers are being sold. The High Court also asked the state government to give wide publicity to the new order issued on Thursday and asked the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to show 'zero tolerance' to those who violate the order of selling only green crackers. 

The clarification from the Karnataka government came after a direction by the Karnataka High Court questioning the state government that it had not specified what constituted green crackers in its order.

Earlier this month, Karnataka Chief Minister announced a ban on crackers during Deepaval. However, he soon retracted the ban, announcing that 'green crackers' will be allowed.

On Thursday, after the High Court asked the state government to explain what a green cracker is, a new order was issued by Anjum Parvez, Principal Secretary, Revenue Department, stating the green logo of CSIR-NEERI and QR codes will help identify green crackers. 

"Green crackers are manufactured as per the formulation developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research - National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (NEER) lab and product approval is given by Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO)...Green firecrackers are available as sparklers, flowerpots and maroons etc," added the order.

According to CSIR-NEERI, green crackers produce 30-35% less emission compared to non-green crackers. They also reportedly emit 125 decibels of sound,which is less than the 160 decibels emitted by non-green fireworks.

The Karnataka High Court bench was hearing a petition filed by advocate Narendra Babu which claimed that bursting crackers during Deepavali could exacerbate COVID-19 owing to the pollution and smog generated.

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