Ensure sale and purchase of green firecrackers only: Karnataka HC

Green firecrakers have a distinct, green logo of CSIR-NEERI and PESO, and a Quick Response (QR) code on their packaging.

The Karnataka High Court on Friday directed the State government to strictly ensure that only “green firecrackers”, containing the distinct, green logo of CSIR-NEERI and PESO, and a Quick Response (QR) code on their packaging, are sold across the State.

The Court also directed authorised officers, police and local authorities like city corporations, municipalities, and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to regularly inspect stalls selling crackers to ensure only “green firecrackers” were being sold.

‘Give wide publicity’

To increase awareness about “green firecrackers”, the Court asked the government to give wide publicity through various media platforms, including new channels on television and social media. It said, the public should be requested to check for the green logo and QR code before making cracker purchases.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty issued the directions after the government, acting on Thursday’s observation of the court, issued a notification explaining what constitute green crackers and how they can be identified late Thursday night .

The Bench, during a hearing on Thursday, had pointed out that the government’s order of allowing only “green firecrackers” was “ineffective” as its did not specify what such crackers were and how the public could identify them.


Logo and QR code

“The green firecracker packing can be identified through the distinct, green logo of National Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Environment Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) and Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO), as well as QR code system. The QR code is a novel feature incorporated on the firecrackers to avoid manufacture of and sale of counterfeit products,” the government said in the Thursday night notification, submitted to the Court.

“The green firecrackers are those manufactured based on chemical formulation developed by the CSIR-NEERI and PESO, and they don’t contain harmful chemicals, thereby reducing air pollution…The general ‘green crackers’ are available as sparklers, flowerpots, maroons, etc,” the government’s November 13 notification clarified.

Reiterating its Thursday’s observation that stringent order banning crackers as pleaded by the petitioners — A.S. Vishnu Bharath of Bengaluru and Samarpana, a social organisaton — cannot be issued as the petitioners had approached the court in the eleventh hour, the Bench adjourned hearing till November 23, directing the State and its authorities to enforce air and noise pollution control norms, and sale and use of only “green firecrackers”.

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Sagar Biswas

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