The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has strongly opposed a complete ban on firecrackers. The SJM said it has to be understood that till now the pollution caused by firecrackers was primarily due to illegally imported firecrackers from China. There has been pollution due to the mixing of potassium nitrate and sulphur in Chinese firecrackers. However, in green (pollution-free) firecrackers made in India today, potassium nitrate and sulphur chemicals are not mixed and other pollutants such as aluminium, lithium, arsenic and mercury have been reduced to the minimum.
It is noteworthy that these firecrackers are certified by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research- NEERI and cause a minimum of 30 percent less pollution.
The SJM’s call comes at a time when Delhi, Rajasthan, Orissa, West Bengal, Karnataka governments have imposed complete bans on firecrackers. SJM national co-convenor Dr Ashwani Mahajan has urged these governments to repeal the ban orders.
‘’Since the Indian government has imposed an effective ban on Chinese firecrackers, it is completely unfair to impose blanket ban on all types of firecrackers on Diwali. We should not forget the fact that in Tamil Nadu (Sivakasi), West Bengal and many other parts of the country, livelihoods of nearly one million people depends on the firecracker industry. Throughout the year, these people wait for Deepawali to sell their firecrackers,’’ said Dr Mahajan.
He further stated that in such a situation it is not prudent to ban green firecrackers which are less polluting without any scientific basis.