Kolkata gears up to battle Diwali noise, air pollution

November 4th, 2010 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 4 (IANS) From placing air monitoring vans to deploying thousands of additional policemen, Kolkata is going the whole hog to ensure low decibel and pollution levels this Diwali Friday.

In a bid to check air pollution caused by bursting of crackers, West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has decided to station mobile air pollution monitoring van at North Kolkata’s Bidhan Chandra Sishu Hospital.

“Last year, many of the children admitted at the hospital fell sick because of excess pollution. So, we decided to deploy the van near the hospital. Besides, the WBPCB will monitor the air quality in Kolkata from 18 manual stations and two automatic stations,” WBPCB chief scientist Dipak Chakarborty said.

“The respirable particulate matter in the city air peaks on Kali Puja and Diwali, leading to serious complications among the aged and the children,” he added.

The pollution control board has asked Kolkata Police to keep a tab on banned fire crackers. As per the board’s norm, the maximum permissible sound level is 90 decibel impulse five metres from the source.

According to Joint Commissioner Jawed Shamim, over 9,000 kg of banned firecrackers have been seized and more than 76 people have been arrested here.

“We have asked Kolkata Police to keep vigil on warehouses of cracker manufactures so that banned crackers cannot be brought to the market,” Biswajit Mukherjee, a law official of WBPCB, said.

“Bursting of crackers on rooftops of high rise buildings is not allowed. If such an offence takes place, secretary and president of the housing society will be held guilty,” Mukherjee said.

There will be additional 10,000 policemen deployed on the streets, he added.

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