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Improved formulation for green crackers finalised, PESO tells SC

PESO says the development would reduce the emission of pollutants at least by 25-30 %

Improved formulation for green crackers finalised, PESO tells SC

New Delhi: Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it has finalised "improved formulations" for making green firecrackers and product approvals will be given to manufacturers by March 21.

The apex court was informed that joint work was undertaken by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), and other fireworks manufacturers related to formulation and production of green firecrackers.

Trial of some samples was also conducted, PESO said, adding that the development would reduce the emission of pollutants PM 2.5 at least by 25-30 per cent.

As per the CSIR-NEERI minutes of meeting placed before a bench of Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Nazeer, the authority would proceed with product approval documents of makers of fireworks by March 7.

"It is envisaged that product approval for improved formulation by PESO shall be given by March 21, 2019," it said, adding, "It is envisaged that product approval for new formulations shall be given by PESO by April 30, 2019."

It further said that it has been envisaged that bulk production of fireworks having improved formulations shall be initiated by March 30. "It is envisaged that bulk production of fireworks (new formulations) shall be initiated by May 10, 2019," it said.

Advocate Gopal Shankaranarayanan, appearing for the petitioner who has raised the issue of air and noise pollution from firecrackers, told the top court that as per minutes of meeting, Barium Nitrate and Potassium Nitrate chemicals have been used in the new formulation.

"The Government of India has not been heard on this. The Government of India had said that Barium Nitrate cannot be used in crackers," he said.

The court asked the Centre to file its reply on whether it approves the composition for green crackers and posted the matter for hearing on March 12.

The bench also observed that once the new formulations are developed by the expert agencies like NEERI and PESO, there should not be any problem in manufacture of green crackers.

During the hearing, the bench was told that conventional formulations with Barium Nitrate and Potassium Nitrate as oxidizers along with additives provided by CSIR-NEERI were prepared and fireworks were developed and tested for performance efficiency.

The minutes of meeting said that new formulations were also prepared and tested for performance efficiency.

It said that samples shall be assessed comparatively for emissions from conventional and reduced emissions crackers.

It further said testing of light and sound emitting fireworks were demonstrated successfully in presence of PESO officers and fireworks manufacturers and nearly 200 memorandum of understanding (MoUs) have been signed with manufacturers.

"After the joint work in various fireworks manufacturing factories situated in an around Sivakasi and after observing materials, analysis/assessment of the manufacturing process and testing performance efficiency, it appears that the above mentioned manufacturing shall

reduce the emission of pollutants PM2.5 at least by 25-30 per cent (improved and green fireworks/green firecrackers) and it will be a win-win situation in the interest of all stake holders in the public interest," it said.

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