City anchor: Vulcano sutli bomb, Thunderbomb are back to blast your ears
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Firecrackers capable of producing ear-numbing dhamakas continue to be freely available in the market despite increased awareness about noise pollution.
Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), police and NGO Awaaz Foundation recently conducted a joint testing and found usual suspects such as sutli bomb and thunder bomb among crackers violating the decibel limit of 125.
Testing of around 32 brands of 15 manufacturers commonly available in the market revealed Vulcano sutli bomb made by Shama Fireworks, Jalgaon, made a noise of 126 decibels, Thunderbomb by Standard Fireworks, Sivakasi, 126.6 db and Thriller bomb by Charminar Fireworks 126.4 db.
Standard Fireworks' 5000 shell produced the most, 126.7 decibels.
Most firecracker packs did not mention chemical compositions or noise levels, violating law.
Tests conducted in 2010 and 2011 had found roughly the same brands making noise up to 130 decibels with peak values going two notches above the maximum permissible 145 decibels.
"We conducted similar tests in Pune and Nagpur and found violations there as well. We will now write to the department of explosives to take required action," said Sanjay Bhuskute, MPCB spokesperson.
Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of Awaaz Foundation, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sadanand Date promised her at a recent meeting that steps would be taken to ensure adherence to noise rules this Diwali.
"He told me MPCB and police will undertake joint patrolling to check violations. There will also be a dedicated citizen complaint helpline to report violations beyond 10 pm and in a silence zone," she said.
MPCB officials, however, were not aware of the joint patrolling arrangement.