Bursting of firecrackers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. will be strictly prohibited during Deepavali and the police will be empowered to fine the violators up to a maximum of Rs.1,000.

Flagging off five awareness teams on Tuesday at an event organised here by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), Environment Minister T. P. M. Moideen Khan appealed to the public to celebrate the festival of lights in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Citing air pollution density data during Deepavali over the last two years, he said that firecracker use has come down.

“However, public participation is essential to make sure that people do not harm others in the name of tradition,” he added.

Acceptable noise level

Mr.Khan pointed out that the national standard for acceptable noise level in residential areas is only 50 dB.

During Deepavali last year, Triplicane recorded the highest noise levels in the city (86.7 decibels) and T.Nagar experienced the least (73.9 decibels).

Apart from the awareness teams that will highlight the effects of firecrackers and spread the message of accident-free Deepavali, one monitoring team of TNPCB would conduct an ambient air quality and noise level survey on November 2 (pre-Deepavali) and on November 5.

Parental supervision

Mayor M.Subramanian said that children must burst crackers only under parental supervision.

“Last year nearly 20 waste bins belonging to the Chennai Corporation were destroyed because some kids thought it was fun to use them to burst crackers,” he said. In case of any complaints or in the event of an accident residents can contact – Police: 100/103; Fire Service: 101; Emergency medical aid (ambulance): 102; and TNPCB: 22353153.

BreathFree Initiative

Seeking better protection for asthmatics, Cipla in association with Asthma Allergic Resource Centre (Mylapore) launched the BreathFree initiative here on Tuesday.

R.Shridharan of the Centre said “It makes sense to restrict, if not completely avoid firecrackers, and show concern for others.”

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