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‘Sound advice’ comes a bit late

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A fireworks stall in Bhubaneswar .
A fireworks stall in Bhubaneswar .

Staff Reporter

BHUBANESWAR: Can the Diwali celebrations be made free of noise pollutions even as Orissa State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has issued a public notice warning people not to create sound more than 125 decibel with just three days to go for festival? In all probability the answer will be a big ‘no’.

Sound of firecrackers’ is already reverberating in different cities and rural pockets but neither OSPCB nor police have made a beginning to crack a whip on violators.

The advertisement of OSPCB published in local dailies says that manufactures, sellers and users of firecrackers are prohibited not to go beyond 125 decibel of sound during celebration.

Firecrackers vendors should keep a safety distance from each other and make elaborate arrangements of fire extinguishers. Everybody should come out to open space for igniting firecrackers.

Random testing

However, all these warnings appear to be meaningless as there is no proper mechanism in place to keep tab on violators.

“Police along with OSPCB officials are supposed to go round the crackers shops and carry out random testing to measure the sound. A committee has been formed for the purpose,” OSPCB Chairman L. N. Patnaik said here on Monday. While the action is yet to commence, firecrackers’ vendors have already made a brisk business.

Central Pollution Control Board does carry out tests and issues instructions at big manufacturing hubs like Shivkasi in Tamil Nadu to control likely impact of crackers.

Noise pollution

The OSPCB with help of police personnel are also supposed to check firecrackers at manufacturing sources. But nothing has happened so far, sources said.

“It is impossible to check noise pollution at household level,” Mr. Patnaik admitted.

Bhubaneswar City Deputy Superintendent of Police Sarat Sahu said the Police Department had no customised device to measure the volume of sounds and it was also impractical to requisition technical manpower from OSPCB every time.


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