This Diwali was more noisy than the last one | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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This Diwali was more noisy than the last one

It was anything but a quiet Diwali this year. Even though the days leading up to the festival seemed less noisy, the three days of festivities turned out to be more deafening than last year in many parts of Mumbai.

mumbai Updated: Nov 09, 2010 01:04 IST
Snehal Rebello

It was anything but a quiet Diwali this year. Even though the days leading up to the festival seemed less noisy, the three days of festivities turned out to be more deafening than last year in many parts of Mumbai.

The comparative data with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) showed that Mumbaiites burst crackers till wee hours of the morning, thereby violating the 10pm deadline laid down by the Supreme Court. Also, the noise levels were almost double than the prescribed decibel (dB) levels.

For instance, from 10pm on Sunday to 6am on Monday, the average noise levels recorded near Mantralaya were 72.5dB as compared to 62dB last year. Similarly, on Sunday from 6am to 10pm, the average levels recorded near Mantralaya were 74.3dB as against 68dB in 2009.

As per the rules, noise levels in residential areas should not exceed 55dB between 6am to 10pm and 45dB between 10pm to 6am. Also, they can’t exceed more than 50dB and 40dB for the same time period in silence zones.

“The violation of the 10pm deadline is a cause of concern,” said SC Kollur, scientific officer, MPCB. “We will now have to concentrate on increasing our awareness programmes for next year.”

Over the three days of Diwali — from November 5 to November 7 – MPCB monitored noise levels across 45 locations in the city. On November 5, the first day of Diwali, noise levels during the night reached an average 85.2dB near the Siddhivinayak temple at Prabhadevi, a silence zone, and were 82.2dB through Saturday night till 6am on Sunday as compared to 57dB last year during the same period.

“From all the complaints we received, Bandra, Khar and Worli topped it,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener of non-government organisation Awaaz Foundation, who received at least 20 SMS complaints on her mobile phone. “Even the police force was busy with Obama’s visit and hence it seems they could not keep a track of errant residents.”

Noise levels rose even in the western suburbs of Santacruz, Malad, Kandivli and Dahisar.

As per records of Awaaz Foundation, the noise levels reached 105dB on Friday at 10.44pm from bombs that were burst opposite Bandra’s Lilavati Hospital, a silence zone.

This year, the state government had ordered that firecrackers would not be allowed on streets or foothpaths. While by and large, the rule was implemented, there were stray incidents where it was flouted.