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Vikash Sharma

Putting an end to speculations on the chances of bursting fire crackers this Diwali after two long years of silence triggered by the pandemic, the Orissa High Court on Monday paved way for the use of green crackers during this year’s celebrations.

While giving its nod to the use of crackers, the Court however, made it categorical that only Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) approved green crackers will be allowed in the State.

The Court has attached a rider to the liberty-- the green crackers can be used for two hours, between 8 pm and 10 pm, on the Diwali day.

The Court’s directive came during the hearing of a petition filed by the All Odisha Fireworks Dealers Association and others against the September 30 order of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) which had prohibited the sale and use of firecrackers during the festive season to protect public health and check spread of Covid-19.

During the previous hearing last week, the HC had directed the SRC to take an appropriate decision on the contentious issue by conducting a hearing and inform about the decision by 10 am on Monday (November 1).

"“We welcome the High Court’s decision. We are happy that court has allowed use of green crackers which are less pollutants," said Ashwini Behera, Member, Odisha Firecracker Traders’ Association.

Trilochan Patnaik, President Nikhil Odisha Firecracker Association said, “All the cracker units in Shivakasi have already received certificates to manufacture green crackers since 2019.”

In the November unlock guideline issued by the Odisha government on October 31, the SRC had categorically stated that the government would issue guidelines and stipulations relating to the sale and use of firecrackers during this festive month separately.

The SRC submitted a reported in the HC today in which it was claimed that there will be no issue when only green crackers are used.

The Court has also directed the Police and District administration officials to initiate action if there was any violation of the order and use of banned crackers.

Nabakishore Sahu, a trader said, “As only few days are left, it is impossible for us to get licence to sale crackers.”

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