A report published in the The Assam Tribune quoted a senior official at the Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) as saying, “Our officers in the regional offices along with police and district administration officials have conducted checks in many parts of the State. This time we have not found too many high-sounding and hazardous firecrackers. We can’t say if they are selling them clandestinely, but definitely the number has come down.” The official attributed it to increased awareness, particularly among children.
The report further stated that while pollution levels during Diwali last year had dropped significantly when compared to the previous three years, PCBA officials hope it would come down further this time, given the Supreme Court guideline this time on the timing for bursting crackers.
PCBA officials have also conducted checks at the Barpeta firecracker making units and no violations have been detected. “They are not using dangerous metals and harmful chemicals and are generally making flower pots and sparkles,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the PCBA has begun monitoring the air and noise levels at various locations in Guwahati and at the National Air Quality Monitoring Programme (NAMP) stations in the State. There are 23 such NAMP monitoring stations, including six in Guwahati.
“As per protocol, we are monitoring the pre-Diwali air quality and noise level since November 1 last. The noise level monitoring is being done at three locations in Guwahati – Ganeshguri, Rehabari and Panbazar – from 6 pm to 12 midnight. The NAMP stations at Khanapara, Bamunimaidam and Bharalumukh have started measuring ambient air quality since November 1 last and the monitoring will continue for 14 days. The report will be later submitted to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),” the official said.