SC displeased on absence of green cracker formula

SC displeased on absence of green cracker formula

The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed displeasure over inabilities of various agencies to find out formulae for green crackers, saying 974 cracker factories have been closed down in Tamil Nadu and about four lakh workers rendered jobless.

“We had ordered for ban on polluting cracker in the belief that some alternate formulation is in place. Where are the green crackers" a three-judge bench presided over by Justice A K Sikri asked.

The court pulled up National Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) for delaying handing over formulae of green crackers to manufacturers despite an assurance way back in August last year.

A counsel, appearing Sivakashi cracker manufacturer, contended that 974 cracker factories were closed down and four lakh workers were without a job.

“Some way has to be found, you can't delay like this. Some balancing act to protect the livelihood of workers and also ensure no pollution on account of cracker bursting,” the bench, also comprising Justices S Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah, said.

The government counsel submitted the NEERI has entered into a memorandum of understanding with a number of manufacturers for making green crackers and for its trial. A meeting took place on January 4, and a decision would be taken soon.

“Why you don't file an affidavit by Tuesday,” the bench told the counsel, fixing the matter for consideration next week.

In a judgment in Arjun Gopal case, the top court had on October 23, 2018, banned the polluting crackers keeping in mind worsening air quality and allowed only bursting of green crackers.

The court, meanwhile, asked the Union government and states of Haryana and Punjab to respond to the issue of stubble burning, saying “We have to see the plight of farmers. They won't be able to do on their own, the states have to help them out”.

“The idea of penalty is not going to work. We have to come with some short and long term solutions, involving civil society members,” advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan said, appearing for the petitioner.