Millennium Post

Mumbai sees quieter Diwali, thanks to loud message from CM, NGO

Mumbai saw a quieter Diwali this year thanks to an appeal made by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and a pre-festival campaign launched by activists and environmentalists against use of firecrackers.

Fadnavis had vowed not to burst firecrackers this Diwali and appealed to people to do the same. "Realising the health hazards of noise pollution and firecrackers, people used fewer firecrackers this year as compared to last few years," said environmentalist Sumaira Abdulali, who is founder of an NGO, Awaaz Foundation, which has been campaigning for brining down noise levels.

She sent an e-mail to Fadnavis, thanking him for his appeal to curb use of firecrackers.

"I sincerely thank you for your pre-Diwali statement that your family and you would not burst firecrackers. Citizens of Mumbai have responded to your message and our awareness campaigns. You leading by example in this manner has made a huge impact to inspire citizens to use fewer crackers and bring down noise levels sharply, helping protect the health and well-being of our city," Abdulali said.

Awaaz Foundation, along with its partners, including Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, has been conducting periodic tests of noise levels from firecrackers, loudspeakers in the metropolis as part its anti-pollution campaign.

"Although Mumbaikars used fewer firecrackers, enforcement of time limits was found lacking at many places. At prominent locations such as Marine Drive, firecrackers were used after 10 pm in spite of police presence. The highest reading of 113.5 dB was recorded at about 11.15 PM at Marine Drive," she said.

In 2012, there were norm violations all over the city, but this year, most firecrackers were found to be within the permissible noise limit of 125 dB, Abdulali said.

According to her NGO's noise pollution tests, Worli, KEM Hospital and Marine Drive were among places where noise level ranged between 90 and 113.5 dB. Most other places in the metropolis saw quieter Diwali, she said.
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