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November 07, 2010

Deepawali lost in sound and fury of crackers, fireworks ...

SILCHAR, Nov 6: The significance of Deepawali epitomizing the victory of good over evil and the grand ovation to Lord Ram on his return to Ayodhya after eliminating demon Ravana was lost in the overnight sound and fury of crackers, fireworks, microphones giving out Bollywood numbers. The decibel ban exploded on the face of law enforcing agencies. The Central and State rule banning crackers emitting more than 125 decibel has been blatantly floated. The fireworks groups of young men went on exploding even the banned crackers.
The sound and noise norms are fixed by the experts on the basis of the impact and damage potential from loud crackers. Sound pollution going beyond the permissible limit could result in loss of hearing, escalating blood pressure and even cardiac arrest. Children could suffer from trauma. Crackers and fireworks went on without caring for the Environmental Protection Act of 1986 which has punitive provisions for the violators. How the air was polluted could well be understood than imagined.
What was most disturbing which virtually kept the town in the grip of deafening noise through out the night was the helplessness, deliberate or otherwise, of the police to tackle the situation. The Pollution Control Board which was supposed to play pro active role in this pollution, according to an official, is yet to assess the level of sound decibel.
From East to West, North to South of the town, went the bang with high rises, brigades of youngsters and para clubs playing the crackers game. “Deepawali 2010 was the noisiest ever”, said Prasanta Paul of Central Road. The din and sound made peace loving and ailing citizens angry but looked helpless. Nursing homes and civil hospital were badly affected. The police control room and the Pollution Control Board failed to act despite innumerable complaints from many areas.
A Supreme Court directive says no noise emitting fireworks can be burst after 10 pm. Both the decibel and the limit blew up in the ever increasing noise pollution. Still unfortunate, even banned crackers found their way into the markets. NGOs like The Greens’ appeal for maintaining sound level went unheard. There was no proper planning and execution by the police. Nor were young brigades followed any norms or rules.
The sound and noise pollution was heightened more by blaring microphones giving out Bollywood numbers. Along with that went on gambling and dices unfettered. With no dry day in force, liquor shops did brisk business, adding to the noise and bustle by intoxicants. The vigilance cell of the ASEB too looked helpless in the face of abundant pilferage of electricity by hooking by many puja pandals. (The Sentinel)

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