Tribune News Service
Bathinda, November 13
Despite a call given by the state government to celebrate green Diwali, green crackers are in a short supply in the district. Besides, the environment-friendly crackers are not enthusing people to the same extent that conventional ones do.’
At a firecracker stall at the Multipurpose Sports Stadium in Bathinda, only anar (fountain cracker) and phuljhadi (sparklers) are available, though people are looking for rockets, bombs, fire shots and chakris (wheelers). Stall owner Krishan Kumar said: “Anar and phuljhadi are the only green crackers available in the market”.
Pushpinder Singh, a city resident, said he went to buy green crackers, which are supposed to emit less smoke and have lower noise levels, but returned home within 10 minutes, empty-handed and disappointed. “There aren’t many options as regards green crackers. Firecracker sellers are selling the same loud and smoky varieties this year as well,” he complained.
Even Chinese crackers have flooded the market in the absence of any inspection of stalls at designated places in the district. “The firecracker business this year is down by 50 per cent. People are not buying green crackers, which are costlier than the regular ones. This is the reason that we have not brought green crackers as people are hardly opting for them here,” a firecracker seller said, adding that people from high-income groups who made bulk purchases were away from the market as there were no Diwali parties this time due to Covid-19”.
“All crackers produce smoke and are harmful. Even green crackers at times produce noxious gases that can affect lungs adversely. But green crackers are less harmful than conventional ones,” said Dr Vitul K Gupta, a health activist.
Some of the hazardous chemicals and metals present in firecrackers are charcoal, potassium nitrate and sulphur. These contain toxic dust and carcinogenic sulphur-coal compound, which affect the environment as well as human health.
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