Flouting all the rules

Pollution Control Board shows that city is second highest for noise pollution; board imposes cracker curfew, but to no avail

As the city reverberates with the sound of firecrackers and the celebration of the festival of lights continues with much pomp and splendour, rules meant to safeguard the health of the masses are being cast aside.

Deafening: The directive from the Pollution Control Board has
failed to make any difference as this year the noise pollution
recording was 109 decibel, while last year it was 103.
Pic/Satish Badiger

According to statistics of the Pollution Control Board, each year during Diwali, the city records the second highest level of noise pollution, topped by Bellary and followed by Kolar. With this in mind, the Karnataka Pollution Control Board had imposed a 10 pm to 6 pm 'curfew' on bursting crackers.

The directive, however, has failed to make any difference as this year the noise pollution recording was 109 decibel, while last year it was 103. "The aim of issuing a directive for prohibition between 10 pm and 6 am was to check the rising noise pollution levels.

However, this is not being implemented appropriately," said A S Sadashivaiah, KSPCB chairman. This just goes to prove that the rules in the city are just meant to be on paper, while the implementation part is always lacking.

"In our area, people were bursting crackers till 4 am in the morning. It is always the same and the rules are only meant to be on paper and never get implemented," said Dr Meenakshi Bharat, member, Resident Welfare Association, Malleshwaram.

Wasted plan
Everyday, the city generates around 3,500 tonnes of waste and during this festival, over 8,000 tonnes gets generated. However, the cracker waste during Diwali has to be handled with care since it is a hazardous waste.

"Cracker waste material contains chemicals such as Bromine, Nitrate, Potassium and various other harmful chemicals. That is why we have directed the BBMP to segregate the waste. Toxic waste should not be sent to the landfills, as it will pollute the soil," added Sadashivaiah.

No clear policy
Despite regular reminders, the BBMP still has no policy on waste segregation. "There is still no clear policy on waste segregation and all they do is compress the waste and dump it in landfills. This is the same story every festive season," said Dr Meenakshi.

A BBMP official however said that the palike takes care of industrial and hazardous waste at the waste
management plant in Dobespet. "We have directed the workers to ensure that the cracker waste is collected on all the festival days and segregated,"

said B T Ramesh, BBMP, Engineer in Chief. With implementation of rules apparently the least of the BBMP's concern at the moment, it seems like the city is submerged in a pit of firecracker waste.

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