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How Ranchi, Dhanbad defied SC’s Diwali curbs

Revellers not only burst loud crackers but also violated time window

By Our Bureau in Ranchi
  • Published 9.11.18, 12:03 AM
  • Updated 9.11.18, 2:40 PM
  • 2 mins read
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Women release sky lanterns at Hirapur in Dhanbad on Wednesday night. Picture by Shabbir Hussain

Prompt policing in one city and the sheer dearth of the same in two others governed the noise index on Diwali Wednesday.

The festive noise limit for crackers in Jharkhand is a liberal 125dB within four metres from the point where it is burst. Yet, the decibel demon romped through capital Ranchi and coal town Dhanbad as revellers conveniently ignored Supreme Court guidelines, including the 8pm-10pm time window.

“Firecrackers were burst from early evening till beyond midnight. Most were noisy. Police and district officials seemed to be looking the other way,” said Ranchi University professor Nitish Priyadarshi, a resident of Lalpur in the capital.

Also an environmentalist, Priyadarshi added that the impact of bursting a large number of high-decibel crackers within a short duration of time was worse. “Think of what would happen if you receive a few hundred mm of rainfall in say five hours instead of over five days,” he drew an analogy.

A police officer in Ranchi said they received some complaints of SC order violation. “But, the information were not specific enough to take action,” he claimed.

City SP Aman Kumar said his men did their best to implement the court guidelines. “All prominent areas were covered by patrol vans.” Asked about evident decibel offence, he said, “That may have happened in gated residential premises. Children may have burst a few crackers on rooftops. Public places were well monitored.”

Ranchi Sadar SDO Garima Singh tacitly conceded lapses. “We will review what can be done to implement apex court guidelines in a better way. Generating awareness among people is key to enforcing the order,” she said.

In Dhanbad, where the decibel violations were more blatant, SSP Manoj Ratan Chothe claimed an awareness campaign on social media had been conducted, besides distribution of pamphlets.

“All thana OCs had standing instruction to prevent large-scale violation,” he said, but didn’t elaborate why police mostly remained mute spectators. Sources in police, however, said lack of clarity about the sections under which an FIR should be lodged gave offenders the leeway.

Patrolling was more organised in steel city Jamshedpur, where PCR vans were not just spotted on main roads but also lanes . Residents on their part opted for low-decibel celebrations in most areas although the time window was ignored.

East Singhbhum SSP Anop Birtharay said Diwali was quieter this year. “We had warned citizens of legal action if the court curbs were violated. Most people co-operated and did not use noisy crackers. Also, individual thanas did a good patrolling job. We will improve the record in coming years,” he said.