Stray incidents of bursting of firecrackers were reported from different parts of Kolkata on Tuesday, two evenings before Diwali, prompting police to step up vigil and the drive to seize banned fireworks.
Senior officers said incidents of bursting of firecrackers were reported from Kasba, Beleghata and the Port area in south, northeast and west Kolkata, respectively.
All police stations have been asked to intensify naka checks and keep ready special teams that will be constantly on patrol from early evening.
Cracker test for police
“Between Monday and Tuesday, over 500kg of banned firecrackers were seized across the city. Two persons were arrested on Monday,” said an officer of Kolkata police.
“In little over a fortnight, more than 3,000kg of banned firecrackers were seized and 15 people arrested.”
In Salt Lake and Lake Town, the seizure of 185kg of banned firecrackers on Tuesday prompted the police to decide on deploying over 2,000 personnel to enforce the ban on firecrackers.
Senior officers of the Bidhannagar police commissionerate said they had identified the areas from where most complaints of noise norm violation on Diwali and Kali Puja had been received in previous years. The areas are in Lake Town, Baguiati and Rajarhat, and near the airport, among other places under the commissionerate.
Sources, however, said banned firecrackers kept entering the city and its adjoining areas from parts of South 24-Parganas on Tuesday.
The banned items were kept in packets stacked with what are being passed off as green fireworks, which the Supreme Court has said are not banned.
Most of the fireworks dealers from Nungi, Maheshtala and Champahati in South 24-Parganas told this newspaper on Tuesday that none of them had any stock of green crackers.
Green crackers, as outlined by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, do not contain aluminium, barium, potassium nitrate and carbon, and hence they are less polluting.
Most of the dealers said they had placed a few banned items in packets containing fireworks for children such as sparklers (phuljhari) and ground spinners (chorki).
One dealer from Balarampur in Maheshtala sent a copy of the receipt of a buyer to drive home the point that all types of items were on sale.
The buyer had spent Rs 11,745 on firecrackers, including Rs 800 on “Lal Mirchi cell”, a banned item.
“We are tucking in the banned items under the seats of cars. If you can come down, there is nothing to worry,” the shop owner said.