Marked reduction in bursting of firecrackers noticed

Neha Basudkar
Thursday, 19 October 2017

A quick check by Team Sakal Times revealed that Wednesday (Narak Chaturdashi) and Thursday morning (Laxmi Pujan) were relatively less noisy in Deccan, Balewadi, Karve Nagar, Hadapsar, Shivajinagar, Vishrantwadi, Pimple Saudagar, Ajmera in Pimpri and many parts of Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Pune: Punekars have cut down drastically on bursting of firecrackers this Diwali, as marked by many citizens till Thursday afternoon. Many have avoided the noisy ones and have opted for silent crackers. 

A quick check by Team Sakal Times revealed that Wednesday (Narak Chaturdashi) and Thursday morning (Laxmi Pujan) were relatively less noisy in Deccan, Balewadi, Karve Nagar, Hadapsar, Shivajinagar, Vishrantwadi, Pimple Saudagar, Ajmera in Pimpri and many parts of Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Some areas of Camp, Tilak Road, Chinchwad and Sangamwadi did witness some noisy scenes, but as a whole, the bursting of firecrackers has reduced in the city.

People are opting for low-sound crackers like the flower pot, sparklers, chakri, butterfly and small rockets. 

Prashant Ranpise, Chief Fire Officer of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), said, “There were no calls for any fire incidents caused by firecrackers till Thursday afternoon. 

Last year we received 17 calls from all over Pune. According to me, this time we will receive very few calls because not many people are bursting firecrackers.” 

He added that the big bombs, big garlands, multiple shots which cause  fire incidents are not available in the market.

On Thursday evening many people and traders came out on JM Road to burst crackers and a heavy smog engulfed the area causing low visibility.

Many firecrackers emit particles in the PM2.5 size range, which travel deeply into the respiratory tract. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. It can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

‘Scientific approach needed’ 
Conservancy staff members of the PMC said firecrackers are being burst more in slum areas than affluent societies and colonies. But a staff worker said that even in slums the percentage of noise and smoke has gone down. 

- Asim Sarode, Environmental Justice Lawyer, said, “Today’s generation is following outdated and irrational way of celebrating any festival. We need to be more scientific towards our celebration. We are dealing mainly with the major issues of global warming, so the outdated behavioural pattern of the society should change and the celebrations regardless of any caste should be kept in a rational way.”

Last year we received 17 calls from all over Pune. According to me, this time we will receive very few calls because not many people are bursting firecrackers.” 

He added that the big bombs, big garlands, multiple shots which cause  fire incidents are not available in the market.

On Thursday evening many people and traders came out on JM Road to burst crackers and a heavy smog engulfed the area causing low visibility.

Many firecrackers emit particles in the PM2.5 size range, which travel deeply into the respiratory tract. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. It can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

A scientific approach is needof the hour
Conservancy staff members of the PMC said firecrackers are being burst more in slum areas than affluent societies and colonies. But a staff worker said that even in slums the percentage of noise and smoke has gone down. 

Asim Sarode, Environmental Justice Lawyer, said, “Today’s generation is following outdated and irrational way of celebrating any festival. We need to be more scientific towards our celebration. We are dealing mainly with the major issues of global warming, so the outdated behavioural pattern of the society should change and the celebrations regardless of any caste should be kept in a rational way.”

Pollution at a high 

While Punekars are considering reducing use of firecrackers, Pune-based Chest Research Foundation (CRF) conducted a study on Laxmi Road, where bursting of firecracker has become a mandatory tradition on Laxmi Pujan day. Particulate matter were found at 400 microgram/m3 before traders started bursting crackers at 6 pm. On Laxmi Pujan day, Dr Rohan Shah, postgraduate student of Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences at Savitribai Phule Pune University took a sample of PM 2.5 or particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or less at 6 pm on Laxmi Road. He said 400 microgram/m3 were levels of PM 2.5 in the air at that time before the bursting of firecrackers began. The permissible value by World Health Organisation is 60 microgram/m3. 

When they started bursting crackers, the level was 17,000 to 27,000 microgram/m3 and at the peak, it touched 40,000 microgram/m3, near the jewellers’ shops, which is equivalent to burning 500 cigarettes at a time, according to Shah.

According to CRF, the fire cracker snake produces maximum particulate matter. It is 6,45,000 microgram/m3 while burning of Anar produces 4,860 microgram/m3, while multi coloured sparkles produce 28,950 microgram/m3 and fuljadi produces 10,390 microgram/m3 and Chakri 9490 microgram/m3. 

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