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'Twill be a silent Diwali for Bengalis this time

Diwali and Kali Puja in West Bengal will be less boisterous than usual this year -- for the government has placed a ban on 'loud' firecrackers and strict restrictions on the use of microphones.

The ban, which is already in effect, has seen police making seizures of more than 3.2 tonnes of firecrackers and arresting 25 persons in the city and suburbs during the past two days.

All firecrackers which generate more than 90 decibels of noise have been banned. The authorities said a strict watch was being kept on fireworks manufacturing units and sale outlets, and that anyone violating the regulation will be prosecuted.

State Environment Minister Manas Mukherjee said the government was determined to implement the Calcutta high court order curbing noise pollution.

The restrictions had kept the decibels down at a reasonable level during the recent Durga Puja, officials claimed.


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