Aizawl, Jan 10: The Mizoram State Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has stated that at least five people in the city died of respiratory problems due to the pollution caused by fireworks and crackers during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
MPCB secretary Lalduhawma said the board had decided to conduct research and subsequent awareness campaign on the ill effects of pollution by cause fireworks and crackers on the health.
''Five people have died of respiratory problems within a week after New Year. This clearly points out the harmful after-effects of the fireworks and crackers bursted during the New Year celebrations,'' the MPCB secretary said.
''We need to provide scientific evidence that the air pollution caused by fireworks is the cause of deaths for people with respiratory problems. At the moment, we are in the process of collecting data from hospitals in the state capital and so far, we have visited three hospitals. We have irrefutable proof that the revelries are resulting in people's death,'' he said.
He said the fireworks in the developed countries were being handled by pyrotechnic engineers, which were manufactured under license with permissible pollutants.
''Moreover, these displays hardly last more than two minutes and are usually fired into the sky which minimises the risk of air pollution because the pollutants have time to dissipate in the air,'' he stated.
Asked about fireworks manufacturing in India, Mr Lalduhawma said while some manufacturers were licensed by various state pollution control boards, many unlicensed manufacturers existed, which created difficulties for pollution control boards.
''Some manufacturers follow pollution control board norms when manufacturing fireworks and these contain permissible amounts of pollutants. But the real problem is that many unlicensed manufacturers whose products cannot be monitored. The only way to prevent high air pollution during the festive seasons is not to allow individuals to burn fireworks,'' he said.
Despite the MPCB's earnest appeal, fireworks and crackers were burst in large numbers by children and adults alike in Aizawl and other areas of the state during the New Year celebrations.