Nagpur News : With all the hustle and bustle that Diwali extravaganza has brought to Nagpur, the fire crackers are set to add some extra, and in extreme cases, even deafening sound effect to the already noisy surrounding. Most of the fire crackers being sold in the city markets exceed the maximum decibel limit of 105 dB for series and 145 dB for single fire cracker. The cracker bombs at these shops blasts every limit to shatter all rules and regulations. While this sidelines the law on one hand, it also invites serious health hazards on the other. Especially, children are more exposed to this hazardous deafening effect of the number of fire crackers set to go off.
Interestingly, there seems to be no mechanism in Nagpur to take control of the exceeding noise levels with every burst of a cracker. “It all depends on the free will of the people whether they want to exercise restriction while bursting crackers or go ahead with taking the sound and air pollution to alarming level,” said an employee at pollution control board on condition of anonymity.
Talking to Nagpur Today, he told that since the ‘special situation’ like Diwali lasts just for a night, the department pays little heed to this concern, sidelining the fact how extremely it affects health in the long run. “A night is enough for causing years of nightmares,” he said, adding that like every year the situation appeared to be same this festival too.
It has been observed that nearly all the shops across various nooks and corners of the city have been selling the crackers in question to the buyers who hurriedly finish their last venture after they are done with buying clothes and other decorative to deck up Diwali. A customer at the cracker shop, when interrogated about the noising effect of some crackers, said, “Neither the shop owners nor the crowding masses have enough time to go through the price check or the fine print at the cracker boxes, leave aside the allergy advice or the noise levels.”
Surprisingly, most of the boxes do not even have the fine print which is required to be strictly given under the law. Experts at Nagpur said that most of the crackers contain toxic heavy metals that can result in severe health effect. Worsening the problem, this year many shops in the city are flooded with fire crackers made in China. These emit dreaded amount of sulphur dioxide which badly poisons the air. Interestingly, these Chinese crackers have been banned for sale in India on account its deadly effect.
Recently, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) in Pune along with an NGO named Aawaz tested around 12 sound producing fire crackers, of which, 4 were found violating the permissible noise level of 105 dB. Three of these, which are single fire crackers, crossed the maximum decibel limit of 145 dB. In another similar test at Bandra in Mumbai, four fire-crackers have been banned for crossing the permissible sound level with some of them recording 126.7dB. However no such check has been conducted in Nagpur.
What the law says
Noise standards for firecrackers have been notified under the Environmental (Protection) Act. As per the notification, manufacture, sale or use of fire crackers generating noise levels exceeding 125 decibel or 145 decibel at peak, at four metres distance from the point of bursting are prohibited for individual firecrackers. For fire crackers in series, the noise limit is more stringent with the permissible limit at 105 decibel. The MPCB report states that noise generated by firecrackers that are much higher than the prescribed levels can affect both health and behavior of people. Unwanted sound (noise) can damage physiological and psychological health.
Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure – No amount of law could prove to be useful unless the people initiate by themselves. Once people stop buying these hazardous crackers, the selling would gradually come to a grinding halt adding more purity to the celebration of divinity.
Nagpur Today appeals to all Nagpurians to do their bit in making the noise free Diwali. Let the sound of happiness prevails with the warmth of oneness this Diwali. Let’s not burn sound emitting fire crackers and evoke the light of peace and prosperity. Let’s wish “Noise Free Nagpur” this Diwali.