West Bengal to form cluster for green fireworks soon: Minister
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Kolkata: A cluster of fireworks units will soon come up in West Bengal‘s South 24 Parganas district where green fireworks will be made conforming to all central guidelines, state Environment minister Manas Bhuniya said.

The move comes in the backdrop of the death of three persons, including a teenage girl, at an explosion in a fireworks unit in Mahestala area of South 24 Parganas district earlier this month.

Bhuniya told reporters on Friday that representatives of Mahestala Fireworks Association met him, Fire services minister Sujit Basu, West Bengal Pollution Control Board Chairman Kalyan Rudra, WBPCB Member Secretary, Rajesh Kumar and other senior officials where it was decided a format will be drafted carrying the dos and don’ts with regard to manufacturing of fireworks.

A senior scientist of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which is the monitoring authority of fireworks and ensures it conforms to the permissible sound decibel limit for a firework, joined the meeting virtually from south India and confirmed the central agency will keep the sound decibel limit for a green firework to 90 decibel in the case of West Bengal, as suggested by WBPCB, against the national decibel limit of 120 for green firework, Rudra said.

Asked if green fireworks made in South India, conforming to the national 120 decibel limit, would flood the market during upcoming festivals, Rudra said “that will not be possible as we will be strictly conforming to the 90 decibel limit endorsed by NEERI.”

Bhuniya said to a question the first cluster, with a number of fireworks units lined up at one place, will come up as soon as possible and housed in the existing fireworks unit.

“We are beginning with Mahestala area in South 24 Parganas district. More such clusters will be set up in other fireworks hubs like Champahati, Nungi and other places in coming days. The entire fireworks industry will be regulated and we wish to bring it to the mainstream introducing a one window system where the fireworks manufacturers will have all their requirements met. There will be no grey areas. We have also made it clear there should not be any child labour in the factories,” he added.

The environment minister said the clusters will be brought under MSME department.

A senior WBPCB official said around 30 fireworks units will come under the first cluster.

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To give more teeth to the production of green fireworks, the department is in talks with NEERI for facilitating one testing lab here so that the fireworks makers need not go outside the state, Bhuniya said.

Fire services minister Sujit Basu said the department will ask fireworks makers to follow all standard protocols for making fireworks but the final action rested with police.

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