No firecrackers banned in Maharashtra, noise levels below safe limits: MPCB | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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No firecrackers banned in Maharashtra, noise levels below safe limits: MPCB

Officials said individual noise levels from serial and single crackers was calculated by their scientific officers and decibel (dB) levels were found to be below permissible limit

mumbai Updated: Oct 29, 2016 12:21 IST
Badri Chatterjee
MPCB officials and members from Awaz Foundation test firecrackers at Jawahar ground in Chembur  October 18.
MPCB officials and members from Awaz Foundation test firecrackers at Jawahar ground in Chembur October 18.(HT photo)

The state pollution control board has approved the use of all 26 types of firecrackers that were tested for noise levels on October 18 in Mumbai. However, the result for a chemical analysis test of the firecrackers is yet to be issued b the board.

Officials from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) told HT on Thursday that individual noise levels from serial (1000 series) as well as single crackers, was calculated by their scientific officers and the decibel (dB) levels were found to be below the permissible limit of 125 dB .

“Apart from testing crackers in Mumbai, we have received reports of similar firecracker testing done across the state over the past week. Noise from none of the crackers surpassed safe limit under noise rules,” said VM Motghare, joint director, MPCB. “We submitted our findings to the Controller of Explosives, Nagpur with a conclusion that none of the crackers should be banned this year.”

On October 18, the annual testing by MPCB and anti-noise campaigner Awaaz Foundation, found the noise levels from serial crackers (1000 series) to be at a maximum of 116 – 118 dB (1000 series at 116.2dB). The testing was done in an open ground in Rashtriya Chemical and Fertiliser (RCF) colony, Chembur, 12 days before Diwali.

While permissible limits for single crackers is 125 decibels (dB), a series of crackers (ladi) have limits between 90 decibel (dB) and 110dB, depending on the number of crackers put together. “For serial crackers, noise from each individual cracker from the series was tested and a logarithmic analysis showed that individual crackers were below 110 dB limit,” said Motghare.

Meanwhile, the results for the chemical analysis of the crackers are yet to be received from the pollution board’s laboratory. “While some of the crackers showed release of thick smoke and could have traces of lead and zinc, it is yet to be confirmed from our lab,” said Motghare.

Anti-noise activists said that there was a drop in noise levels due to enforcement as well as awareness. “During 2012, firecracker testing by different groups clearly showed a 100% violation for all firecrackers. While awareness has resulted in a lesser use of firecrackers, over the years, the firecracker testing done by our NGO, the pollution board and several complaints to the Controller of Explosives and the police that led to better enforcement and the manufacture of less noisy crackers,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.

What to do if noise levels are breached around you this Diwali?

#Measure noise levels using free downloadable App on iPhone or android phone.

#Take a photograph of the measurement for your records.

#Complain to Police Control Room by dialing 100 and get a complaint number.

· In case of continued violation, message the police on Twitter (@MumbaiPolice) or lodge a complaint on their website (https://mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in/complaint.asp).

#Send a copy to Awaaz Foundation’s email address: sumairaabdulali@yahoo.com, or Facebook page ‘Get Well Soon Mumbai’.

#Follow up on your complaints by filing additional complaints as needed. Get a complaint number every time.

#Write to assistant commissioner of police, deputy commissioner of police and commissioner, Mumbai with copy to Awaaz Foundation. The letter or email should contain the date, time, silence, residential or other zone, name of concerned police station, source of noise (type of cracker used), complaint number and status of action taken.

In a first, pollution board to check noise levels this Diwali

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) said that they will for the first time record noise readings at 158 locations across 26 municipal corporations across Maharashtra along with calculating air quality levels.

“We recorded ambient noise at all 158 locations on October 24 to adjudge the noise levels during a non-Diwali day and have background readings. On October 30, the same test will be conducted along with air quality analysis throughout the state. The readings will be compared to national ambient air quality standards and put up on our website,” said VM Motghare, joint director, MPCB.