In parts of the city, Diwali was quiet with many people bursting noiseless crackers instead of the usual bombs, at least till 10pm, the deadline for firecracker bursting.
Noise generated by firecrackers stayed largely within the permissible limit of 125 decibels in the western suburbs and on Marine Drive, according to Awaaz Foundation, an anti-noise not-for-profit.
Awaaz Foundation monitored noise levels in these parts of the city between 7.30pm and 10pm and found that at 127dB, the noise generated by firecrackers was loudest at Vile Parle while the lowest reading — 90dB, was taken at Bandra. At Marine Drive, revellers were still bursting crackers post 10pm.
In 2010, Awaaz Foundation had recorded noise levels of 130dB at several places such as Bandra, Worli sea face and Marine Drive. In 2011, the NGO recorded noise levels of 110dB at Marine Drive and Worli.
Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of the foundation, said that noise during Diwali has been reducing gradually over the years, thanks to a sustained awareness campaigns. “When I went around the western suburbs and south Mumbai, most people were using only aerial crackers and I found very few rassi bombs.”
But Abdulali said that the police were not enforcing the 10pm deadline. “At Marine Drive, people were bursting crackers beyond the deadline and I got complaints from citizens living in the eastern suburbs about loud celebrations.”
Anti-noise activist Sujata Rao said, “Slowly, Ganpati has taken over Diwali as the biggest festival in the city and the noise levels generated during Ganpati are rooted in its commercial turn. People have responded well to the anti-noise campaign.”
At the city’s civic hospitals, 13 people, including an eightyear-old, were being treated for minor injuries.