Awareness campaign for a smoke and noise-free festival launched

Environment Minister T.P.M. Mohideen Khan on Thursday urged children to reduce the amount of crackers they burst for Deepavali. “It will help to reduce noise and smoke pollution,” he said, launching the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board’s awareness campaign for a smoke and noise-free festival.

The Minister, who flagged off campaign vehicles, said crackers must not be burst between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The Board would be monitoring the noise and smoke levels using Respirable Dust Samplers and Noise Level Meters in Triplicane, T.Nagar, Ayanavaram, Nungambakkam and Sowcarpet.

Mr. Khan added that recycling of plastic below 20 micron thickness was a major problem for local bodies as there was no way to process it. However, following the Board’s suggestion that cement factories substitute a portion of the coal used for burning with plastic refuse, a manufacturer in Tirunelveli would begin using municipal waste from October 25, he said.

“Several manufacturers have come forward to use plastic from municipal waste and the Chennai Corporation will also provide such waste,” the Minister said.

Addressing the gathering, Mayor M. Subramanian said that the Chennai Corporation had banned bursting of crackers at its functions.

He said a reduction in bursting of crackers would help to prevent environmental damage.

Regarding the supply of plastic to cement factories, Mr. Subramanian said post-Deepavali, the Corporation would hold a meeting with the Minister and officials of the Board.

Earthen lamps were distributed to children and residents of Bharathidasan Colony in K.K. Nagar area where the campaign was launched. Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board Chairman R. Balakrishnan and member secretary R.Ramachandran participated.

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