Indian activists smolder over “green” Diwali firecrackers

A woman and her son sit at their firecracker shop in the old quarters of Delhi

A woman and her son sit at their firecracker shop in the old quarters of Delhi, India, October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Source: Reuters

By Neha Dasgupta

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the use of “green” firecrackers for Diwali next month to try to curb pollution, but it was unclear how the rules will be enforced or whether there was such a thing as an environmentally safe firework.

The court banned the sale of firecrackers outright during the Hindu festival of lights last year but revelers bought them from neighboring states and air pollution in New Delhi hit 18 times the healthy limit.

Each year, smoke from firecrackers covers Delhi and its satellite cities in a haze that can linger for days as wind speeds drop in the cooler weather, adding to pollution caused by the burning of crop residue, vehicle exhausts and industrial gases.

Activists in India, home to the world’s 14 most polluted cities, had petitioned the court for another ban on fireworks ahead of Diwali, when millions of firecrackers are lit.

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