THE city witnessed a noisier, but cleaner Diwali this year. According to readings, taken by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), of 51 locations where noise levels were recorded during the day on October 23, 42 had noise levels higher than those recorded in 2013. However, the data also shows that air pollution was lower this year.
The highest noise level in the city were recorded at Prabhadevi — upto 84.7 decibel (dB), followed by Goregaon’s Shubhas Nagar and Tumbawara junction at Dharavi, which recorded 83.1 dB and 80.1 dB respectively.
Only nine locations including Kamathipura, Matunga-Gandhi market, Versova-Azad Nagar and Dindoshi saw lower noise levels this year.
“As per the data, it seems that the city had a noisier Diwali, but day-time noise levels can be attributed to other sources like honking by the vehicles. It is seen that noise levels exceeded standards at all locations, even during night time,” said S C Kollur, scientific officer, MPCB.
Officials blamed the introduction of new “three series” crackers for the increase in noise pollution. “While the traditional sutli bombs give off noise levels between 80 to 85 dB, the new bombs produce noises that are far beyond permissible levels. We have written to firecracker manufacturers to regulate firecrackers’ noise levels,” said Kollur.
There was lesser air pollution this year. At Bandra, 64 microgrammes per cubic metre of nitrogen oxides was recorded as against 79 microgrammes per cubic metre last year. The particulate matter (PM 10) recorded was 163 microgrammes per cubic metre as compared to 175 microgrammes per cubic metre last year. Both the levels, however, were higher than the permissible level. According to NGO Awaaz Foundation, however, peak noise levels came down significantly this Diwali, owing to increased police vigil, regular checks at the shops and decrease in the sale of firecrackers that cause highest amount of pollution. “Since the Mumbai police had also roped in the distributors’ network of firecrackers to lower its sale, the pollution levels have come down this year,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation.