The Telegraph
Saturday , October 13 , 2012
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Court seeks report on cracker ban

The high court on Friday asked the state pollution control board to file a report by October 16 stating whether the court could allow crackers that emit up to 125 decibels of sound to be burst in the state during the festive season.

The division bench of Acting Chief Justice K.J. Sengupta and Justice Asim Kumar Mondal passed the directive on a PIL moved by the secretary and chairman of the All Bengal Firecrackers Development Organisation.

Representing the organisation, advocate Somnath Bose submitted that other states allowed crackers that make up to 125 decibels of sound.

“Our state has been incurring a loss of Rs 135 crore per year since it only allows crackers that emit up to 90 decibels of sound. Also, nearly 44 lakh people involved in the trade have been suffering because of the bar,” Bose submitted.

Government pleader Ashok Banerjee said the ban was based on a 1996 high court order. “After the order had been passed, the government set up a five-member committee of experts to fix the upper limit of sound that crackers could make. The committee suggested a limit of 90 decibels.”

Board lawyer N.C. Behani said: “My client had announced that only crackers that make up to 90 decibels of sound could be manufactured and sold in the state. The announcement was on the basis of the experts’ report.”

nBurglary: Burglars broke into a home in Belgharia, North 24-Parganas, early on Friday and left with cash and jewellery worth around Rs 3.5 lakh. Sohini Dey, 28, who works in Tata Consultancy Services, was sleeping beside her mother Sumita and grandmother Mamata in a ground-floor bedroom but none of them heard a thing. The ornaments were for Sohini’s upcoming wedding.