I am not sure about the present generation but I personally grew up spending the long hours of the night with friends and neighbors in cracking fireworks during the auspicious dates of Diwali. Before everyone starts judging me yes, I know it frightens dogs and other animals, not to mention the sound and air pollution that occurs on that day. It is probably under these norms that the Kerala State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has issued certain guidelines to limit the noise pollution caused by crackers during Diwali. The directive clearly states that ‘crackers producing sounds of 125 db and more have been banned’. The Pollution Control Board said it has now become a trend for bursting crackers that produce high-decibel sound and it is under this wake of light that the above guideline was issued. Another key point issued was that bursting of crackers between 10 pm to 6 am has been banned and asked the people to refrain from doing so. There have been several instances where crackers had been burst all through the night and me, myself during my younger days am a culprit in this regard. The KSPCB has also banned bursting of crackers within a 100-m radius of hospitals, courts, places of worship, educational institutions and narrow roads.
KSPCB is more than fine with color and light fireworks, it’s the concept of sound that is truly bothersome. You don’t hear breaking news or latest news in Kerala featuring a man complaining about different colored lights but there have been instances where complaints rose regarding the noise level. This will be the first time that strict actions will be enforced all over our humble state, so let us wait and watch how effective the system is.