Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) Vaman Acharya has urged people not to use crackers during the Deepavali festival and light lamps instead.
KSPCB has started a ‘Say No to Crackers’ campaign and it is trying to educate people about the ills effects of crackers.
Nagappa, officer at KSPCB said, “Big noise making crackers contain heavy metals that mix with soil and water causing contamination. As per the rules of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, no cracker should weigh more than 25 grams or cause sound levels over 125 decibels.”
Acharya said police have been asked to set up squads to monitor the usage of crackers. They have also been told to ensure the Central Pollution Control Board’s instructions on usage of crackers from 10 pm to 6 am. He said, “The Pollution Control Board officials have been instructed to undertake several measures regarding this. They will collect samples of cracker packets and see whether packages contain details about the noise created, chemical compositions etc. They have also been instructed to measure the decibel levels in the city during Deepavali.”
Around 5,000 schools have been approached and requested to make school children promise to not light crackers anymore.
Meanwhile, Dr Bhujanga Shetty of Narayana Nethralaya has suggested measures to prevent worsening of injuries during the festival.
He said, “Most of the victims will be children. Wash the burnt area if it is a small burn; if it is an injury caused by bigger crackers like ‘rockets’, the victim’s wound must be bound with a light cotton bandage and they must be taken to the doctor immediately.”