The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) will enforce the existing ban on sale and use of firecrackers that generate sound over 90 decibel and not opt for a blanket ban as is the case in Delhi. WBPCB chairman Kalyan Rudra said the board was working in tandem with law enforcing agencies in the state to prevent illegal firecrackers from entering the market. “Without any new court direction on the issue, the WBPCB will have to go by the existing order of checking the sale and bursting of crackers that produce sound over 90 decibel. Our teams are on the vigil,” Rudra told PTI.
The WBPCB ban on bursting of firecrackers across all silence zones and during day time–10am to 6pm–would also continue to be in force across the state, Rudra said. “We cannot go on our own. Our action is always backed by directions from the judiciary,” he said. Rudra’s statement comes in the wake of a recent Supreme Court order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR region till November 1 this year. In May, the WBPCB had fixed the maximum permissible noise level of firecrackers at 90 db after the National Green Tribunal gave liberty to the WBPCB to take appropriate decision in the matter.
Environmentalist Somendranath Ghosh said, “In West Bengal there is already a ban on the sale and bursting of fireworks that generate over 90 decibel sound. But what we have seen in the recent years is that illegal firecracker companies, bearing fake tags and logos of Sivakasi manufacturers, flood the market just before Diwali-Kali puja.”
Ghosh suggested increased vigilance and monitoring by the explosives department, police and the WBPCB to stop illegal fireworks from entering the market. “There are over 200 illegal firework companies in the state. We will take up the matter with WBPCB and police when we meet them for testing crackers at Maidan,” he added.