While most cities, including neighbouring Delhi, complained of an increase in noise pollution on the night of Diwali this year, Gurgaon, for the first time, recorded a reduction in sound levels during the festival.
This has been established by the data compiled by the Haryana state pollution control board (HSPCB).
Officials said a lot of people refrained from bursting crackers and this contributed to a reduction in noise levels in the city.
While the figures increased on the night of Diwali compared to a week ago, the noise levels were much lower than that of last Diwali, officials said.
The noise levels were recorded at three locations in the city — Gurgaon Central Mall on MG Road, HR workshop near Gurgaon bus stand and Jay Cinema near Sector 4. Noise levels were monitored at an hourly basis at these spots.
The highest noise level was recorded at 63.8 Leq dB(A) near the bus stand between 9pm and 10pm. This, however, is still lower than the last year’s maximum level of 66.2 Leq dB(A) recorded in Sector 4 between 8pm and 9pm on the night of Diwali.
The levels recorded in Gurgaon this year were also lower than that recorded in Delhi.
In the national capital, noise levels were recorded at 86 Leq dB(A) at Mayur Vihar and Kamla Nagar and 83.2 Leq dB(A) near Punjabi Bagh.
“We noticed a reduction in the use of firecrackers this Diwali as compared to previous years. I visited several areas in the city and saw that very few crackers were being burst, especially in New Gurgaon areas. This is mostly due to the large-scale campaigns organised by schools against crackers,” said Vijay Chowdhary, assistant environment engineer, HSPCB.
He said a change in the monitoring methodology also helped in giving clearer results.
Until last year, the department monitored noise pollution levels on three consecutive days — a day before Diwali, the day of Diwali and the day after Diwali. This made comparisons difficult as the levels would not change drastically within a day, the officials said.
However, this year the Central pollution control board (CPCB) had instructed that pollution data should be collected on November 5, nearly a week before Diwali and on the day of Diwali.