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Taking cognizance of the sound pollution during the Durga Puja festival, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board has made it mandatory for all Durga Puja committees in the state to give written undertakings to the administration about adopting anti-sound pollution measures.

“We have asked all police stations to see to it that the organisers conform to these guidelines. While a clause to this effect has been inserted in their letter of application, failing to adhere to the norm will make them ineligible to get permission," WBPCB Member Secretary Rajesh Kumar said.

Police stations have been asked to cross-check with the electricians contracted by the puja committees concerned as to whether loudspeakers and sound boxes are fitted with sound limiters before they are installed near the puja pandals..

WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra said the board is doing everything possible to stop the playing of loud music during immersions and puja days by the organisers.

"We are all worried about the hazard of loud, ear-splitting music which causes great difficulty to the ailing, elderly and children apart from others in a neighbourhood. The guideline will deal with the issue of fitting sound limiter to the sound boxes," Rudra informed.

He said teams consisting of WBPCB staff, police personnel and administrative officials will be patrolling every block of the state during the Puja days with devices to monitor decibel levels.

West Bengal's Durga Puja is included in UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage. It is a centuries-old tradition that was added to the list in December 2021.

(With the inputs from the PTI)

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