RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has urged the state governments to avoid a complete ban on firecrackers on the occasion of Deepawali.
While the central government-imposed ban on the import of Chinese firecrackers should continue, green, made in India, and pollution-free firecrackers should be allowed, the political and cultural organisation that promotes national self-reliance said.
"For some time, without any factual information, governments have been taking action like banning all types of firecrackers on the occasion of Deepawali, which is completely inappropriate. It has to be understood that until now the pollution caused by firecrackers was primarily due to illegally imported firecrackers from China," Ashwani Mahajan, National Co-Convenor, SJM said.
According to Mahajan, the pollution problem was due to the mixing of potassium nitrate and sulfur in Chinese firecrackers. "However, in green firecrackers made in India today potassium nitrate and sulfur are not mixed; and other pollutants such as aluminum, lithium, arsenic, and mercury, etc. have been reduced to the minimum. These firecrackers are certified by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-NEERI and cause a minimum of 30 per cent less pollution," he stated.
SJM also pointed out that in Tamil Nadu (Sivakasi), West Bengal and many other parts of the country, the livelihoods of nearly one million people depend on the firecracker industry. "Throughout the year, these people wait for Deepawali to sell their firecrackers. In such a situation, it is not prudent to ban green firecrackers which are less polluting without any scientific basis," Mahajan added.
SJM also asked the central government to inform the National Green Tribunal (NGT) about the real pollution effects of green firecrackers.
"It is a matter of regret that government agencies have failed to solve the problem of stubble burning in various parts of the country, including Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi; due to which the pollution in the capital and surrounding areas is continuously increasing and has crossed the danger mark," the organisation said.