NONE of the 11 firecrackers tested by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) in Pune have violated permissible limits, according to a senior official of the MPCB. As part of an exercise held every year, the MPCB, along with NGOs and police officials, tested 11 samples of firecrackers. The loudest firecracker was the “sutali bomb”, with a noise level of 110.6 decibel. However, it is still below the permissible limit of 125 decibel, said officials.
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The noise level of ‘Laxmi bomb’ and serial firecrackers (a string comprising nearly 1,000 small firecrackers) ranged between 90 and 102 decibels, said V M Motgire, joint commissioner of MPCB.
He added that though the levels of noise made by the firecrackers were high, they didn’t violate the limit.
However, MPCB officials added that the chemicals used to make the firecrackers needed to be analysed.
“While there is a ban on firecrackers made in China, we have now set up squads to check whether manufacturers have given information about the composition of the firecracker on the box. The squad will include teams from police, the MPCB and district collectorate,” said Motgire.
Meanwhile, the pollution control board is going to monitor the noise level on three days — October 30, 31 and November 1 — at 158 locations in the state.
“The deputy commissioners of police from four zones in Pune have given directions to police stations, which have been instructed to take action against illegal firecracker stalls. The police teams will also check if stalls, which are running with prior permission, are following all the requisite norms about safety. The squad will also check what kind of crackers these stalls are selling. Every year, Pune Police take action against illegal stalls and we will continue to do so this year as well,” said a senior police official.
In the first week of September, Pune Police Commissioner Rashmi Shukla had announced that the rule — banning the sale of crackers on the side of the road — will be strictly followed during the festive season.
She added that the sale of crackers would be allowed till November 3, after which the crackers would have to be withdrawn from the retail market and returned to wholesale traders with special licences.