Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday asked environment minister Sudarshan Ghosh Dastidar to move the Supreme Court against the National Green Tribunal’s order relaxing the state’s fire-cracker norm.
“Under the chief minister’s directive, we are actively considering our options regarding the national green tribunal’s order about cracker noise norm,” Ghosh Dastidar said in the evening.
Sources said Mamata had asked Ghosh Dastidar to move the apex court against the tribunal’s ruling, which has relaxed Bengal’s noise norm from 90 decibel at 5 metres from the source to 125 decibel at 4 metres from the source.
According to senior officials, Mamata feels it would be difficult to control noise pollution during Kali Puja/Diwali unless the green tribunal’s order is reversed.
“Over the past few years, we have been reasonably successful in controlling noise pollution. If the green tribunal’s order remains in force, people will suffer during the forthcoming festive season,” said an official.
Officials said they would discuss the issue with legal experts and move the Supreme Court soon.
“Bengal was once the pioneer in noise control in the country. It has lost its position in recent times because of various reasons. I am happy that the chief minister has understood the importance of continuing with the stringent cracker norm that existed before the green tribunal issued its ruling,” said former Calcutta High Court judge Bhagwati Prasad Banerjee.
The green lobby sees its victory in the chief minister’s move. “It’s a welcome move and it vindicates our stand,” said Naba Datta, the convener of green umbrella outfit Sabuj Mancha.
The green lobby said it would move the apex court separately.
Cracker manufacturers alleged that the state government had succumbed to pressures from the green lobby. “We will fight the case in the Supreme Court,” said Babla Roy, of the associations of firecracker manufacturers.