Mumbai was less loud this Diwali

More light-based fire-crackers burst this year than ladis


Geetanjali Minhas | November 1, 2011

Awareness about noise pollution and green Diwali seems to have had a calming effect on Mumbai this year compared to previous years as per data available.

Last year, noise levels recorded on Diwali day were up to 110 dB in some areas while this year the levels were  between 52 dB to  76dB  due to a shift towards  light-based crackers like ‘Sparklers’ and ‘Anaars’.

Awaaz  Foundation, an NGO  working for environmental issues which undertook the study, did not collect data on  Laxmi Pujan day  but residents of Sion , Dadar West near Sena Bhavan (Silence zone ) and  Dadar East, Parsi Colony and Khar complained of continuous ‘Ladi ‘ and  ‘Serial’ bombs. Complaints were also received from different sectors in Vashi ,Navi Mumbai  on Diwali day.

Data for noise levels at Perry  Cross  Road in Bandra (silence zone ) ranged between 83 – 95db. In residential zones of  Worli  Sea Face noise level was 89 dB while at  Marine Drive  the levels  ranged between were 85 dB -95 dB.

“As compared to last year, this year the noise levels day after Diwali were greatly reduced. This is in contrast to last year, where noise levels on Laxmi pujan day were low (perhaps due to president Obama’s visit to South Mumbai).Last year, the days after Laxmi Pujan were the noisiest with complaints through the night for 3 days while this year the day after Diwali was comparatively quiet” said Sumaira Abdulali, founder, Awaaz adding that that she is happy that this year noise levels at various places were comparatively low and the government has woken up to noise pollution levels and was now generating a comprehensive data on it.

Fireworks producing  noise above  125 dB are banned. Decibel readings include noise made by surrounding traffic and human activity.

Abdulali said that citizens feedback is very important as noise levels of each cracker differs from bursting of crackers.She received a call from a lady near Bhatia hospital who complained of firecrackers being burnt at 4 am on October 27.

Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and Awaaz Foundation found that a single ‘ladi’ bomb can generate up to 145 decibels (dB) of noise way above safe limits.

The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules under the Environment Protection Act, specify a maximum limit of 50 dB during day time in silence zones and 55 dB in residential zones. At night it is 40 dB and 45 dB respectively (up to 10 pm, after which firecrackers are not allowed to be used).These limits are blatantly violated wth  burning of  loud firecrackers like ‘ladi’ and other ‘serial’ bombs producing injurious  and harmful noise.

While relaxing only timings during certain festivals, the supreme court has imposed tough limits on noise at all times with specified noise decibel levels.




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