Kolkata: The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) on Sunday, said that in order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease during Diwali, advisories have to be followed on the virus by the state.
Also, the existing noise cap of 90 decibel on crackers will be in place throughout the festival.
The pollution watchdogs are working jointly with the state police to stop the supply of all those crackers which do not comply with the given norms and also to raid the illegal manufacturing units, said member secretary of WBPCP Rajesh Kumar.
On asking whether any steps were taken in order to ensure that the smoke generated from the fireworks did not harm people with lung ailments especially during the pandemic, he told PTI, “We will go by the recommendations of the government as of now we will launch a crackdown on firecrackers exceeding the permissible sound threshold. But yes we have to keep the health issue in mind too”.
He further added that if the Calcutta High Court issues any direction for Diwali celebration like Durga Puja, the WBPCB would also have to adhere to the instructions and then work accordingly.
A virtual meeting would be held with all the stakeholders involved in organising the festival of lights to apprise them of the regulation, informed Kumar.
A senior WBPCB official said that the board may consider banning firecrackers used in the vicinity of COVID-19 hospitals, safe homes for coronavirus patients and quarantine centres if that was possible under the existing parameters of the law.
Moreover, the officials have stated that there will be joint teams of WBPCB and the police that will hit the streets of Kolkata and adjoining areas with devices to monitor the level of firecrackers and control the level of noise ahead of the festival which is supposed to take place on November 14.