Diwali was a noisy affair in Pune this year, with the decibel levels rising by eight to 10 points compared to the levels last year, reveals data from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). The areas that saw, or heard, the highest noise levels were Kothrud (87.7 dB), Mandai (87.3 dB) and Karve Road (85 dB), on the day of Laxmi Puja, or November 7.
These numbers were significantly higher than those from last year, recorded on the day of Laxmi puja, October 20, in the same areas. The noise level was 75.8 dB in Kothrud, 78.4 dB in Mandai and 76.4 dB in Karve Road. The noise levels in Pimpri and Thergaon were, however, lower. It was 64.9 dB in Pimpri and 66.3 dB in Thergaon, lower than the levels in these areas last year, when it was 75.9 dB in Pimpri and 74.7 dB in Thergaon.
The Supreme Court directive, to burst firecrackers only in a two-hour window, was violated with impunity in many parts of the city. Across 18 locations in the city, the MPCB monitored noise levels through the day and night on November 1, 7 and 9. The noise levels caused by firecrackers increased in the night, and even those levels were higher compared to last year, said Nitin Shinde, sub-regional officer, Pune division of MPCB.
Last year, the noise levels during the night in Karve Road and Mandai were 58.6 dB and 67.9 dB respectively, while the numbers were higher this year, 76.1 dB and 80.7dB at Karve Road and Mandai respectively.
Last year, a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region, barely a fortnight before the festival, had hit the use of firecrackers in other cities as well.
“This year, the permissible limits for noise in commercial areas (65dB) and residential areas (55dB) have not only been violated across all locations in Pune, in some areas, the noise levels have increased by eight to 10 points compared to last year… we are not too sure about the reason,” said Shinde.
On Bhau Bheej, November 9, the noise levels from firecrackers ranged between 72 and 80 dB across all locations in the day, and it was the loudest at Laxmi Road area, 80.5dB.