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Noise pollution up from last year

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Nov 16, 2020 08:49 AM IST

The CPCB surveyed five residential colonies and one industrial area — Lajpat Nagar, Mayur Vihar Phase-2, Pitampura, Kamla Nagar, Janakpuri and Okhla — for noise levels on Diwali night.

In at least three of six residential localities surveyed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), noise levels on Diwali night were higher compared to 2019, data shows.

Firecrackers being burst on Diwali despite a ban on their sale and use due to pollution, at Patel Nagar in New Delhi.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Firecrackers being burst on Diwali despite a ban on their sale and use due to pollution, at Patel Nagar in New Delhi.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

The CPCB surveyed five residential colonies and one industrial area — Lajpat Nagar, Mayur Vihar Phase-2, Pitampura, Kamla Nagar, Janakpuri and Okhla — for noise levels on Diwali night. Of these, the noise levels this year were higher compared to 2019 in three areas.

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Data shows that in between 6pm and midnight, Lajpat Nagar recorded 71 decibels of noise levels as against 69dB (A) recorded last year, in Mayur Vihar Phase-2 the levels rose to 72dB (A) from 68dB (A) recorded last year. Similar trends were seen in Janakpuri, where on Saturday night 72dB (A) noise levels were recorded, while in 2019, 71dB (A) noise levels were recorded on Diwali night.

The noise standards for residential areas are 55 dB (A) during the day and 45 dB (A) at night. The industrial area standards are 75 dB (A) during the day and 70 dB (A) at night time.

The CPCB report said the pollution monitoring body had monitored pre-Diwali noise levels on November 9, to get a sense of the contribution of firecrackers. Since 2016, on a regular day, the ambient levels in five of these six localities, noise levels had reduced or remained unchanged.

“Pre-Diwali day values are only indicative when background noise making activities, such as fire crackers, are not affecting ambient noise level,” the CPCB report read.

A senior official of the CPCB explained that while green crackers were allowed in Delhi last Diwali, there was a complete ban on all kinds of crackers this year, and that the data therefore indicates that several residents did not adhere to the ban.

“In ideal circumstances, the noise levels should have remained the same as that on a regular day because crackers were completely banned. This issue was foreseen because Delhi cannot be seen in isolation, even if you ban crackers in the Capital, there are means for people to easily procure crackers from towns in the National Capital Region (NCR). In the data we can see that the levels in residential areas suddenly saw a spike from 6pm, when cracker bursting started,” the official said.

The body also said that they are monitoring noise level 24x7 at 10 localities across the city to assess noise pollution for a fortnight, before and after Diwali.

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