India has sights set on banning firecrackers, bringing in 'Green Fireworks' – here's why it probably won't work

  • India’s apex court passed a verdict to restrict the use of firecrackers in lieu of the worsening air quality in the country.
  • Along with time constraints on when firecrackers can be used, the Supreme Court is only allowing the sale of ‘Green Fireworks’.
  • While consumers cite tradition and religion, companies are wary of how this decision will affect their bottom line.
  • On the contrary, environmentalists feel that this barely enough to contain the excessive air pollution that occurs during the festive season of Diwali.
India’s national capital is no stranger to air pollution, especially when it’s festive season. Deepavali, the Hindu festival of lights, is particularly an issue because it involves using firecrackers which not only depreciate the air quality, but cause noise pollution as well.

The Supreme Court of India, the country’s highest constitutional court, has deemed that while firecrackers won’t be banned altogether, strict restrictions are going to be put in place so people’s right to health isn’t adversely affected. This includes restricting when firecrackers can be burst, the implementation of ‘Green Crackers’ and banning online sales to curb the ill effects.

Timely firecrackers

One of the key takeaways from the Supreme Court’s judgement is that bursting of firecrackers will only be allowed between 8pm and 10pm on the day of Diwali. But, they haven’t put any reprimands in place if the decision isn’t followed.

Traditionally, firecrackers aren’t only burst on Diwali but the day before and the day after as well. The day before, because it is Chotti Diwali (small Diwali) and the day after, because people want to use up the firecrackers that are leftover from the night before.

While the time restriction is commendable, it’s unlikely to be enforced efficiently if there is no fear of consequences.


Companies cry foul

Most companies that have been disagreeing with the verdict have cited adverse economic and financial losses. But the Supreme Court has reinforced its stance stating that the economic loss in the form of treating respiratory ailments and health hazards resulting from firecrackers is much greater.

Consumers and e-commerce companies, alike, aren’t too happy about the fact that firecrackers can’t be sold online anymore. Even the traditional Cock Brand Crackers and Sri Kaliswari Fireworks are going to be subject to restricting their inventory. The Supreme Court has mandated that ‘Green Crackers’ or fireworks that adhere to lower emissions will be the only ones allowed in the market now.

While this may be a step in the right direction, environmentalists feel that it’s not nearly enough. Vimlendu Jha says that there’s really no such thing as an ‘environmentally safe’ firecracker.