West Bengal pollution control board raises noise limit for green crackers | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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West Bengal pollution control board raises noise limit for green crackers

Oct 21, 2023 02:22 PM IST

The time for bursting green firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali has also been fixed for two hours (8pm to 10 pm)

The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has raised the noise limit from 90 decibels (dB) to 125 dB for sound-emitting green firecrackers.

The sale and bursting of firecrackers, other than green firecrackers, was banned in West Bengal by the Pollution Control Board in October 2021 (Representative Photo)
The sale and bursting of firecrackers, other than green firecrackers, was banned in West Bengal by the Pollution Control Board in October 2021 (Representative Photo)

“In continuation of the above noise level limits for the sound emitting green firecrackers shall be within 125 dB and the light emitting green firecrackers shall be within 90 dB measured at a distance of four metres from the point of bursting as per the formulation of CSIR – NEERI,” said an order of the WBPCB issued on Wednesday. .

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“Even though the Supreme Court had fixed the noise limit for crackers at 125 dB in 1999 based on research findings, the West Bengal government has restricted it at 90 dB all these years. We welcome the order,” said Babla Roy, chairman of the West Bengal Firework Manufacturers’ Association.

The sale and bursting of firecrackers, other than green firecrackers, was banned in West Bengal by the pollution control board in October 2021.

Experts said that the state’s rule of keeping the noise level lower than the national level was challenged at least seven times in various courts. However, every time it was upheld by courts as there are provisions that allow states to make environmental standards more stringent.

The time for bursting green firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali has also been fixed for two hours (8pm to 10 pm). For Chhath puja, such crackers have been allowed from 6am to 8am and for Christmas and New Year’s Eve they have been allowed for just 35 minutes from 11:55pm to 12:30am.

Green activists, however, have criticised the order saying that most of the firecracker manufacturing units in West Bengal are illegal as they do not produce green crackers.

“There are thousands of firecracker manufacturing units across West Bengal but only seven produce green firecrackers. Rest are all illegal. Even in March this year, the state government had maintained that the noise limit wouldn’t be raised. What happened in these seven months that the noise limit was diluted? It seems that the pollution control board has yielded under pressure from the illegal firecracker manufacturers lobby,” said Naba Dutta, a green activist.

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