The Bombay High Court’s time restrictions on cracker bursting during Diwali were flouted in almost every pocket in the city as revellers continued their celebration by bursting firecrackers round the clock.
Keeping in mind the deteriorating AQI in Mumbai, the HC had on November 10 stated that bursting of cracker should be allowed between 8 pm and 10 pm on Diwali.
The Mumbai’s Air Quality Index (AQI) also saw a massive dip as the city’s overall AQI stood at 189 Monday, which is recorded as “moderate”.
This comes two days after Mumbai recorded AQI readings of 85 and 89, which are regarded as “good”.
Besides this, several pockets of the city recorded poor AQI readings with Malad showing 307, followed by 259 in Chembur, 254 in Byculla, 235 in Bandra (East) and 227 in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC).
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) carried out noise monitoring in 45 locations during Diwali, out of which 26 locations shown increase in decibel levels.
During the night time, the highest increase of 23 per cent was recorded in Kandivli where 74 Decibel (dB) of sound was recorded this year from it’s past recorded of 60dB.
Similarly, during the day time, Nariman Point saw a 13.5 per cent rise in noise level, as 85.4 dB was recorded this year from 75.2 dB.
The MPCB’s day time limit for Ambient noise is 55 dB, while the night time limit is 45 dB.
Besides this, the MPCB’s data also show that 158 locations were monitored in Maharashtra to track noise levels, out of which 89 locations showed increase in noise level, while 67 locations showed decrease in noise level. The highest increase in noise level was recorded at Jalgaon, with 42% rise during the day and 22% rise during the night.
Also, Chembur in the eastern suburbs recorded a drop in noise levels by 31 per cent this year.
Meanwhile, data shared by city based NGO – Awaaz Foundation also shows that Mumbai this year recorded the loudest Diwali since 2021.
In a report published by this foundation it shows that between 9 pm and 11.25 pm, noise levels upto 117 dB was recorded in Marine Drive. 117 dB was the highest noise level recorded this year. During Diwali 2022, the highest noise level was 109, earlier in Diwali 2021, the highest sound level recorded was 100.4 dB recorded at Shivaji Park.
Furthermore, the Foundation’s data also show that between 7 pm and 7.45 pm, 99 dB was recorded in Shivaji Park due to fire crackers being burst, one hour before the permissible period. Furthermore, more than an hour after deadline, 95 dB was recorded in Shivaji Park.
Sumaira Abdulali, founder or Awaaz Foundation, told The Indian Express that the highest noise levels were recorded at 9.55pm at Marine Drive, when serial bombs and loud aerial bombs were burst. She said that the Police started to shut down firecracker use at about 10.10pm.
“In an independent test carried by our organisation, we have found out that 14 out of 22 firecracker brands have used Barium in their products. Barium is a chemical component that is banned by the Supreme Court and the poor AQI, Mumbai is experiencing day after Diwali could he result of these chemical components getting mixed in the air,” Abdulali said.