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Mumbai flouts Supreme Court order on bursting firecrackers

The city violated the two-hour time limit for firecrackers laid down by the Supreme Court (SC)

mumbai Updated: Nov 10, 2018 01:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Diwali,Awaaz,SC order
A firecracker adds a dash of festive colour to the sky over Prabhadevi.(Satyabrata Tripathy/HT Photo)

The city violated the two-hour time limit for firecrackers laid down by the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, while noise levels reached 114.1 decibels (dB) at Marine Drive, comparable to the sound from a steel mill.

Adhering to SC guidelines, the state home department said the time period for bursting crackers across the state will be between 8pm and 10pm. However, noise from firecrackers was reported well beyond the deadline with complaints received as late as 4am early on Thursday morning. Last year, the city had recorded 112.4dB on Diwali, 113.5 dB in 2016. However, the loudest Diwali was in 2013 at 124dB.

The Mumbai police said it ensured that the 10pm guideline was obeyed by citizens. “There were isolated cases were firecrackers were burst till early on Thursday. However, based on complaints, our patrolling party visited those areas and booked violators. The entire process of compiling a list of cases is underway and will be released by Monday,” said a senior police officer.

While Marine Drive was the loudest on Wednesday night, the area near Podar hospital in Worli, which is one of the 110 silence zones in the city identified by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and declared by the state urban development department, recorded maximum noise levels of 109.1dB around 9.20pm. The area outside Islam Gymkhana near Marine Drive recorded 112.4dB.

Areas within a 100-m radius around hospitals, courts, educational institutions and others where prescribed noise levels should not exceed 45dB during the day and 40dB during night are silence zones, according to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000. For residential areas, the maximum noise level is 55 dB in the day and 45dB at night. Noise pollution not only leads to hearing loss but also can affect other organs , with the possibility of cardiac ailments owing to continuous exposure to more than 80dB, estimated the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Environment group Awaaz Foundation, which recorded noise levels across the city, said there was a trend of decreasing noise pollution levels during Diwali. “The trend of noise pollution levels decreasing over the years continued in Mumbai as the police implemented SC guidelines in different parts of the city,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “Although there were some violations, a large number of police personnel shut down firecracker use after 10pm and also took action against those bursting crackers after the deadline.”

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 01:04 IST