With Diwali just around the corner, officials of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) are keen on bursting firecrackers this week itself. But no, they are not in a celebratory mood; they want to test firecrackers and identify which ones flout the decibel sound limit. This is an unprecedented exercise is an attempt to restrict noisy crackers being sold in the city.
“Every year we check noise levels during Diwali at different locations in major cities of the state. But, this year we would determine exactly which crackers are responsible for noise pollution. We have enlisted some 15 different types of crackers,” said A D Mohekar, regional officer of MPCB.
MPCB has even allocated a special budget to purchase the crackers, and a date has been set aside this week to create a loud bang. “We are going to book a ground in the city and our officials will check noise levels with decibel meters,” added Mohekar.
The noise levels of crackers will be identified from a distance of four metres. “After this exercise, we will forward the results to the district administration to curb sale of noisy crackers. Since it’s the first time we are undertaking the project, we are not expecting an immediate ban on noisy crackers. But, the state government can decide its policy based on our report,” said Mohekar.
The basic idea behind this exercise is to enlist crackers causing noise pollution and then directly asking manufacturers to stop production of these crackers. “Once we get the final report of the tests, we can have a word with manufacturers. But the problem is most of the crackers companies are located outside the state. Dealing with manufacturers from other states is the problem. We have to think on it,” said Mohekar.