Bengalureans will know whether the city celebrated a green Deepavali or not only on November 14 when the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) will come out with a report on pollution after keeping track of it for 14 days starting November 1.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has proposed monitoring of lead, barium, aluminium, arsenic, iron, strontium and nickel under its new parameters for PM 2.5 to get a clear picture of the extent of polluting firecrackers being burst.
Barium, nitrate and strontium are used to give firecrackers different colours and aluminium for white light. As per CPCB guidelines, the KSPCB will monitor noise levels between 6 am and 10 pm. In sensitive residential, commercial and industrial areas, it will continue from 10 pm to 6 am. The CPCB has directed all state pollution control boards to monitor noise levels on pre-Diwali day, November 1, and on the day of the festival, November 7.
While the KSPCB is gearing up to implement the Supreme Court guidelines against bursting high-decibel and polluting crackers, manufacturers estimate that the order cause losses of over Rs 2,500 crore to the cracker industry. Mr Abhilash Sankar, Chief Executive Officer, mycrackers.com, said, “Green crackers are still under research. There is no clarity on how things will work out. As of now, we have decided to go ahead with the court's order.” Mycrackers.com is one of the major online portals that caters to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and parts of Tamil Nadu. Mr Sankar said that the total turnover of the fire cracker industry is around Rs 5,000 crore. Cracker sellers in the city said that there is a demand for green crackers, but there is no supply. Mr Mahesh, who has put up a shop at Banashankari, said he does not have any hopes of doing good business this year.
“The business is dull. After the Supreme Court order, there is a huge demand for green crackers, but when there is no supply, we cannot do anything,” he said.