Despite ban, boom go the firecracker norms : The Tribune India

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Despite ban, boom go the firecracker norms

JALANDHAR: While the permissible limits for noise pollution in the district is 50 decibels in silence zones and 55 decibels in residential areas, the decibels have been far extending that limit every Diwali in the district.

Despite ban, boom go the firecracker norms

Children buy crackers ahead of Diwali in Jalandhar on Monday. Photo: Sararbjit Singh



Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 9

While the permissible limits for noise pollution in the district is 50 decibels in silence zones and 55 decibels in residential areas, the decibels have been far extending that limit every Diwali in the district.

While the noise pollution levels in residential areas touched 82 to 85 decibels between 9 to 11 pm last year on Diwali Day, even this year the authorities have not come up with any concrete measures to rein in noise pollution. Even though word has been spread on reduced pollutants and celebrating eco-friendly Diwali through educational institutes and NGOs, and many will be celebrating a quiet Diwali this year, given the noisy crackers are still making way to customers because shopkeepers continue to store them despite a ban. While in 2012, the Diwali pollution levels in the district in residential areas touched 72.7 decibels on Diwali, in 2013, they came down to 71 and last year as well they remained 71 decibels.

In commercial areas, the pollution levels in 2012 averaged 73.6 on Diwali, in 2013 they were 66 and last year they were 65 decibels, lastly, in sensitive areas, as well the decibel levels stayed over 55 decibels on Diwali night being 57.4 in 2012, however they reduced in 2013 to 51 decibels and in 2014 to 48 decibels.

Rajeev Verma, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said: “We have banned all the major polluting crackers and fireworks. Any kind of potent bombs and crackers which make a lot of noise above the permissible limits have been banned in the district. I also personally reviewed the shops at Burlton Park and none of such crackers are in use in the district. None of the shops had any of the high decibel crackers.”

Meanwhile, the PPCB, which recorded noise and air pollution stats on November 5 as well, says it can merely record stats and regulation or permitting of crackers is in the MC’s jurisdiction.

Senior Environmental Engineer of the PPCB Sandeep Bahl said, “The PPCB is doing its best to spread awareness at schools and institutions on not to use crackers on Diwali but as far as the implementing authority is concerned for the sale of crackers, that job is with the municipal corporation. The PPCB can’t regulate the sale of crackers. As per the SC guidelines, the sound for the cracking point of any crackers can’t exceed 125 decibels. Any one getting inconvenienced due to high decibel crackers in their area exceeding that limit will have a right to seek police help.”

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