The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has decided to deploy seven teams in Kolkata and its surrounding areas on the occasion of Kali Puja and Diwali to check adherence to the 90-decibel limit and the recent Supreme Court order on bursting firecrackers.
The Supreme Court last month stipulated a two-hour window, from 8pm to 10pm, for bursting low-emission crackers. The 90-decibel norm has been in force in the state since late 1990s in accordance with Calcutta High Court.
WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra said the teams will act in coordination with the police and the administration, and particularly keep vigil near high-rises and areas adjacent to Kali Puja pandals.
"The board has given 180 sound-monitoring devices to the police, which was in addition to 317 more devices given last year. These devices can be effectively put to use to check the decibel level on spot," he said.
The WBPCB control room will be working from 5pm to 12am on both the days, he added.
"We had held a series of meetings with residents of high-rises in the past week, where we pointed out that the measures, as stipulated in the SC order, were for public benefit. If you burst a toxic cracker, you are endangering your health, as well as that of your family members," the WBPCB chairman said.
According to Mr Rudra, the board has been assessing air quality in the city for the past seven days and the practice will continue till November 14 to detect any change in air quality in the run-up to the festival.
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