This year's Diwali was the quietest in five years, as per data recorded by the state pollution control board across 45 locations in Mumbai from November 13 to 15.
This year, the maximum noise level recorded was 99.6 decibel (dB) as compared to 117.7dB in 2009 (see box).
"The drop in noise levels is because of increased awareness about pollution, but people will take time to alter their ways of celebrating festivals," said PK Mirashe, joint director, Maharastra Pollution Control Board.
HT's campaign Say No To Noise, too, has been highlighting the dangers of noise pollution and the need for a silent Diwali for the past few weeks.
The Environment Protection Act, 1986, states that 125dB is the limit for noise generated by firecrackers. According to the data collected, parts of the city such as Hindu Colony (Dadar), Mulund and Juhu have witnessed a drop in the noise levels this year.
Decibel levels at Juhu and Mulund were 94dB and 95.7dB as compared to 106.3dB and 100.1dB respectively in 2011. At Hindu Colony, noise levels were 97.3dB as compared to 102.6dB last year.
"A proactive role played by parents and schools has resulted in children using fewer firecrackers," said
Dr Sujata Rao, president elect, association of medical practitioners.