47% In Bhubaneswar Unable To Recognise Green Crackers, Says Study; Know How To Identify Them
Bhubaneswar: Denizens of Odisha’s twin cities of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack are allowed to burst only green crackers till 10 pm on Diwali this Sunday, November 12.
Firecrackers producing sound above 125 decibels have been banned.
A study, however, has revealed 47% of people in Bhubaneswar are unable to recognise green crackers. There is a lack of awareness about green crackers among 54% people in Bhubaneswar and on how to identify them. Though 68% of the respondents understood green crackers are only allowed in the state, there is moderate awareness among 66% individuals regarding the ban on other crackers. 29 per cent refused to buy highly-priced crackers. SwitchON Foundation, an NGO, had carried out the study on November 7 and 8 in different markets of the city among 111 people (94 men and 17 women).
The report recommended the government to raise awareness through public address and other means about the green crackers and timings. It has further suggested the prices of green crackers be subsidised in order to promote their sale.
While crackers are being sold at 21 places in the city, Bhubaneswar Mayor Sulochana Das has also launched a campaign ‘Swachh Diwali Subh Diwali’ to sensitise residents on celebrating the festival in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner. The drive is being conducted is collaboration with the market associations, trade associations, business entities, resident welfare associations, ward committees, self-help groups, NGOs as well and youth clubs.
It was back in 2018 that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Environmental Engineering Research Insititute (CSIR-NEERI) introduced idea of a greener festive season.
It also defined creen crackers as firecrackers with a smaller shell, no ash and/or additives such as dust suppressants to reduce emissions, especially particulate matter.
Green crackers use alternative chemicals such as potassium nitrate and aluminium instead of magnesium and barium as well as carbon instead of arsenic and other harmful pollutants. Regular crackers also produce 160-200 decibels of sound, while that from green crackers are limited to about 100-130 decibels.
Burning green crackers produces water vapour, which reduces the amount of dust emitted.
According to reports, green crackers cause 30 per cent lesser particulate matter pollution as compared to traditional crackers.
HOW TO IDENTIFY
Green crackers can be identified by the distinctive green colour logo of CSIR-NEERI and PESO and a Quick Response (QR) code. There are also three categories of green crackers:
SWAS (Safe Water Releaser): It releases water vapour into the atmosphere to reduce dust. It emits 30% less particulate matter and does not contain sulphur or potassium nitrate.
STAR (Safe Thermite Cracker): Contains no potassium nitrate or sulphur, emits less particulate matter and reduces sound intensity.
SAFAL: It has minimal use of aluminium and more magnesium. It produces less noise than traditional firecrackers.
It is also important to buy crackers from recognised stores than street vendors.