New Delhi: With concerns over deteriorating air quality levels in Delhi, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has joined the fight against the use of firecrackers this Diwali.

The Central agency has been urging people not to burn firecrackers, in its Clear Air Campaign ahead of the festive season.

The Supreme Court, last year had permitted the manufacture and sale of only 'green crackers' in the National Capital Region (NCR), while ruling out a blanket ban on firecracker across the country. However, it had reduced the time period to only two hours from 8pm-10pm to burst firecrackers across the country.

The green crackers are basically the low emission crackers, developed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) laboratories, which cause 30-35% lower emission of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) and 35-40% lower emission of Sulphur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide.

The Union Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan had earlier announced that nearly 165 fireworks manufactures have been roped in and around 65 more manufacturers are in the process of coming on board to develop these firecrackers.

About 530 emissions testing certificates have been issued to fireworks manufactures for new and improved formulations meeting the stipulated guidelines of green crackers. A green logo has been designed to help consumers to differentiate between the green crackers and the conventional crackers.

Meanwhile, the CPCB has also stepped up its action against violators and deputed as many as 46 teams across the city to report any violations contributing to the rise in pollution levels and resolve them.

As on Friday, the air quality in the capital remains in the upper end of the poor category. It is likely to improve slightly on Saturday, owing to better wind speed under the impact of a western disturbance in the upper Himalayan region, but could start deteriorating further during the subsequent few days.

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