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Diwali 2022

PCB control room faces Diwali test

Complaints and replies to be voice-recorded automatically

Jayanta Basu | Published 24.10.22, 07:56 AM
Fireworks being sold at Lake Market on Sunday.

Fireworks being sold at Lake Market on Sunday.

Pradip Sanyal

A control room with a detailed complaint documentation system set up by the state pollution control board three months ago will function throughout the night on Diwali and the next night to receive and respond to complaints, officials of the board said.

The board will also analyse the live ambient noise levels recorded by 150 stations across the state, including around 30 in and around the city.


“It is expected that the ambient noise level will go up if there is continuous bursting of firecrackers in any area. In that case, we will immediately alert the local police,” said PCB chairman Kalyan Rudra.

Complaints about noise norm violation can be lodged with the board by calling 033- 23353913/8212 and 18003453390, and also through the Paribesh app.

“The system was set up about three months back. It will be put to elaborate use on the Diwali night and the next night,” said Rajesh Kumar, member-secretary of the pollution control board.

In this system, whenever anyone calls, the complaint as well as the response of the PCB official answering the call will be voice-recorded automatically.

“People can lodge complaints any time on Diwali night and the night after. Complaints can be lodged anonymously through the Paribesh app and the complainant will get a unique docket number. Such a mechanism is yet to be set up for complaints lodged over the phone. But the complainants who will call our numbers can rest assured their identities will be kept confidential,” Kumar said.

Former PCB chief law officer Biswajit Mukherjee said many people avoided complaining to the board or police fearing their identities would be leaked, and also because hardly any action was taken.

Mukherjee had recently written to the board as well as the police urging them not to leak identities of the complainants, reminding them of a court order on the issue.

Sabuj Mancha, an organisation that works for the environment, has opened a control room to receive complaints on noise norm violation.

“We not only accept complaints anonymously but inform the complainants about the action taken after sometime. We also take feedback,” said Naba Dutta of Sabuj Mancha.

“Our assessment is that hardly 10 per cent of the sufferers complain because they don’t have confidence in the redressal system”, said an environmentalist. Six PCB teams and two Sabuj Mancha teams will be on the road on Diwali night, said officials.

Last updated on 24.10.22, 07:56 AM

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