Be prepared for another noisy, polluted Diwali in Mumbai this year.
There are enough provisions in our laws to control noise pollution. The rules have been clearly laid out for firecracker manufacturers as well as users.
However, the agencies involved — the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), the Directorate of Explosives (DOE), and the local police — appear unable to implement the laws.
The MPCB says its role does not include enforcement and is limited to formulating rules and spreading awareness. Milind Mhaiskar, member secretary, MPCB, said: “We have made a list of firecrackers that exceed these limits and have sent letters to the manufacturers. The Directorate of Explosives (DOE) is in charge of monitoring manufacturers and ensuring proper transportation and storage and usage.”
TR Thomas, chief controller of explosives, DOE, says the directorate’s role is restricted to licensing and checking on banned fireworks.
As for the local police, it had formed draft rules for prohibition of fireworks in specific zones, public passageways and religious areas in 2008, but the state home department is yet to notify them.