This Diwali, make sure that you are not violating any noise norms while bursting firecrackers: you might be caught and fined or even put behind bars.
Supreme Court orders restrict individuals from bursting 'single crackers' like the sky buster, which produces more than 125 decibels (dB) of sound and a 'series cracker' like 'lavangi' that makes more than 105 decibels of sound, calls for a penalty of up to Rs1 lakh or a jail term for up to 5 years for violators.
Minister of state of environment Sachin Ahir on Thursday said he is asking Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik to have a better mechanism in place wherein the local police will work in tandem with the flying squads of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
These teams would fine shopkeepers storing firecrackers or individuals violating noise norms.
"MPCB is a monitoring authority and has never fined even one person for violating norms. It has only recorded noise pollution and air pollution that takes place during Diwali. This year we want to go a step ahead," said Ahir, who will be accompanying squads to check on the firecrackers violating noise rules.
Until last year, the MPCB would only measure the noise levels of different areas and release a list, but no action could be taken since it would be days after the incident.
Also, the Directorate of Explosives (DOE) is in charge of monitoring manufacturers and ensuring proper transportation and storage, and local police who are in charge of checking on noise violation under the Environment Protection Act (EPA).