Nearly 5,000 kg of banned fire crackers have been seized during joint raids conducted by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) and Kolkata Police from the city and its adjoining areas, officials said on Wednesday.
WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra said the seized crackers include a variety of sound-generating shells.
“The joint raids for the past one week were aimed at curbing the use of high-decibel and polluting fireworks during Kali Puja-Diwali on October 27 and October 28, and ensure a more ambient air during the period,” he said.
Rudra said the exercise will continue over the next few days.
The WBPCB official said bursting of crackers is allowed only for two hours on October 27.
Eight mobile teams, consisting of WBPCB officials and police personnel, will maintain strict vigil on Kali Puja- Diwali day in several areas of the city and its fringes, he said.
Rudra said people can lodge complaints related to bursting fire crackers through the West Bengal ‘Poribesh App’.
To a question, Rudra said he does not find much logic behind the argument that air pollution turned worse in recent years during Kali Puja and Diwali.
“Only West Bengal has restricted the decibel limit to within 90, whereas all over the country, it is 125. We set the trend first,” he said.
Rudra also expressed doubt over the efficacy of ‘green fireworks’.
“I don’t believe in this word. Any type of firework causes pollution, but in varying degrees. We don’t yet know the composition of green fireworks,” he added.