Firecrackers test within noise limitsClara Lewis| TNN | Updated: Oct 18, 2016, 22:51 ISTRepresentative image
MUMBAI: For the first time ever, firecrackers were well within the permissible noiselimit of 125 dB. A few years ago all fire-crackers would be beyond the noise limit. Last year, four varieties of crackers were beyond the noise limit.
"The noise levels have been falling over the last three to four years but this year all of them were within the noise limit," said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor Awaaz Foundation. Abdulali has been testing fire-crackers for noise levels since 2004. Since 2006 the NGO has been carrying out joint tests with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The tests reports are then sent to the police and the Explosives department to act on those violating the noise norms.
On Tuesday, MPCB along with Awaaz Foundation tested around 26 varities of fire- crackers at the Rashtriya Chemical Fertilisers ground, Chembur. The tests were carried out days before these arrive in the market for the festive season. "The Rassi bomb which is the noisiest cracker recorded a noise level of 99.9dB. In the past it would cross the 125 dB limit and has even reached 140 dB," said Abdulali. MPCB is yet to calculate the noise levels of serial crackers, she said. Abdulali, however, pointed out that while noise levels have dropped, air pollution caused by fire-crackers has visibly gone up. "We saw it at the ground today when testing the fire-crackers. Last year we had tested the crackers to understand what chemicals are used. We found harmful chemicals like Cadmium being used for the light effect. The MPCB is yet to release its report for last year," she said.
With the city already reeling under the ill-effects of air pollution from vehicles, dust, improper disposal of waste etc activists are worried that the fire-crackers will only add to the problem. "It will be in the city's interest if residents do not use fire-crackers at all this Diwali," she said. Meanwhile the state government has warned it will take action against those violating noise rules during the festive season. It has said noise rules cannot be relaxed in silence zones where the noise limit is 50 dB during the day and 40 dB at night.
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.