The ever-popular rassi bomb, the seemingly less noisy aerial shots and lavangis are the noisiest firecrackers being sold in the city markets.
During a joint firecracker noise test conducted at the Bandra Amphitheatre by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) in association with anti-noise campaigner Awaaz Foundation and Mumbai police on Thursday, of the 32 firecracker brands tested, fireworks made by five manufacturers breached the average permissible noise level of 125 decibel (dB).
Among single-unit firecrackers, the noisiest was Thunder Bomb, a rassi bomb manufactured by Standard Fireworks, Sivakasi; the cracker generated an average noise level of 126.6 dB and a peak noise level of 134.5 dB. In the multi-unit firecrackers category where several types of lavangis were tested, the Standard Fireworks 5,000 shell generated an average noise level of 126.7 dB and a peak noise level of 130.7 dB.
The firecrackers were tested at 4 metres distance from the point of bursting as per provisions of the Environment Protection Act, 1986. Officials from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) that authorises firecrackers were not present at the joint testing.
"We will forward the data of the tests to PESO officials and the Mumbai police, who are entrusted with the authority to crack down on errant manufacturers and dealers," said PK Mirashe, joint director (PAMS division), MPCB
The noise levels that single crackers recorded this year were lower compared to those recorded during firecracker tests in 2008 and 2010. In 2008, 130dB average noise level was the highest for single crackers and in 2010, 130.6dB average noise was the highest.
Anti-noise activists stressed the need to act against manufacturers, as these products are freely available in the market.