The board said that the new decibel limit is as per the limit set by the Supreme Court nationally but has not been able to satisfy acclaimed environmentalists like Naba Dutta and S.M Ghosh.
As per the environmentalists, since the earlier limit of 90 decibels in 2017 was fixed following the recommendations of a committee of experts led by a leading ENT specialist, the board’s logic behind the relaxation of the decibel limit is not acceptable.
The environmentalists doubt the relaxation in the decibel limit and that too before the festive season was done succumbing to the pressure of the extremely powerful firecracker manufacturers lobby in the state.
They said that these firecracker manufacturers tried for relaxation of the decibel limit by tapping the legal and every time their pleas were rejected by the court.
They also said that the board decisions are actually an indirect bypassing of the several previous orders of the National Green Tribunal and other courts on this count.
However, while relaxing the decibel limits, the WBPCB has maintained that the use of firecrackers within 100 meter radius of any silence zone, even if it is within 125 decibel limit, is strictly prohibited and so will be the use of microphones in those areas.
It has also maintained that the board will take special care this time so that the relaxed decibel unit is not misused during the current festive season.
“We also urge the people to contact us anytime they feel firecrackers beyond the prescribed limit are burnt anywhere and the regular monitoring on this count during the festival days will also continue,” WBPCB said.