Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Mamata's 'Green Cracker' cluster proposal raises eyebrows of environmentalists

PUNJAB NEWS LINE | May 27, 2023 06:17 PM

KOLKATA:West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's proposal to create a 'Green Cracker' cluster in the state to accommodate the workers currently employed in the mushrooming illegal fire-cracker factories has raised the eyes of the environmentalists.

They feel that it is doubtful how far the Chief Minister's proposal will be practical, considering the sound decibel norms imposed by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB).

According to environmentalist and green technologist Somendra Mohan Ghosh, while regular fire-crackers emit around 160 decibels of sound, green crackers produce between 110 and 125 decibels of sound.

"However, the WBPCB imposed sound limit for crackers in the state is 90 decibels. In such a situation, the question is how to build the cluster that will ensure manufacturing of green crackers within the prescribed sound decibel limit," he said.

In fact, in October last year, a section of WBPCB officials too had expressed apprehension over green crackers coming from outside the state to be noisier than the prescribed sound decibel limit in West Bengal.

Environmentalists like Ghosh admit that often because of the enhanced focus on fire-cracker related emission issues, which is surely an important factor, the enforcement related to maintaining the sound limit norms are neglected.

The Chief Minister's announcement for the a Green Cracker cluster came in the wake of a series of explosions or fires at illegal fire-crackers units in different parts of the state during the last two weeks, which killed 20 persons.

The biggest mishap took place happened at Egra in East Midnapore district on May 16, claiming 12 lives, including the owner of the illegal cracker unit where the explosion took place.

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