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Activists bat for mass awareness and access to green crackers

Activists bat for mass awareness and access to green crackers
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Welcoming the Supreme Court order on bursting of firecrackers only between 8 pm and 10 pm, aimed at reducing sound and smoke pollution during Diwali and other festivals, city environmentalists opined that only public awareness can result in significant reduction of bursting of crackers

Hyderabad: Welcoming the Supreme Court order on bursting of firecrackers only between 8 pm and 10 pm, aimed at reducing sound and smoke pollution during Diwali and other festivals, city environmentalists opined that only public awareness can result in significant reduction of bursting of crackers. Sensitising people on clean air in ways that appeal to their and trigger consciousness can facilitate realisation of a safe Diwali in its true sense.

“It is not practically possible to enforce the order in the entire city,” observed Thakur Rajkumar, an environmentalist. Noting appreciably the drive by city police and GHMC in using social media to reach out to the masses to impel them to tone down on bursting crackers and also confine to the two-hour window strictly, he said enforcement of the ban would face fierce opposition from revellers. Also, the police cannot take up a case on suo moto basis; they will have to act based on the complaints they receive, Rajkumar added. Not just the firecrackers, yellow fire from oil lamps also causes pollution. The incomplete combustion of oil produces carbon dioxide, Rajkumar said.

Subba Rao, another environmentalist, joins the chorus for widespread campaigns to make people appreciate environmental concerns. He says the verdict is timely and will go a long way in impelling people to think positive of the judgement. At places like Begum Bazaar, shopkeepers burst firecrackers in front of their shops contributing to a lot of smoke and pollution in the city, he said and added that the government should think in terms of exhorting them to burst firecrackers together at a single place, and thereby restricting the pollution, he said.

Sky lanterns are good examples of eco-friendly candles, says Maj Shiva Kumar, an environmentalist and vice-president of United Federation of Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs). “In my opinion, green crackers are those that emit no harmful chemicals into the air. The crackers that make no sound and illuminate the surroundings are considered to be good,” he said. “The manufacturers start the process of preparing crackers long before the festival and I hope to at least see the so-called green crackers in the coming years,” said Rajkumar. The research centers like Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) should work on less-polluting crackers, Rao said.

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