MUMBAI: Mumbai recorded a quieter Laxmi Pujan during this year's Diwali as compared to last year although the overall use of firecrackers was more than what it was during the festival in 2020 when several COVID-19 curbs were in place, an organisation said on Friday.
It attributed the dip in the noise level to the use of "green firecrackers" that have lower decibel levels as compared to the traditional ones.
"The noise levels in Mumbai were much lower this Laxmi Pujan, which was celebrated on Thursday, as compared to the previous years with the highest reading of 100.4 dB (dB - the unit in which sound is measured) recorded at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai's Dadar area," Sumaira Abdulali, founder of Awaaz Foundation, which has been campaigning for bringing down noise levels, told PTI.
In South Mumbai, the Marine Drive promenade, where people generally throng to burn firecrackers on a large scale during Diwali, was completely silent even before the 10 pm-deadline due to the heavy presence of police personnel, she said.
During Diwali last year, the noise level recorded at Shivaji Park was 105.5 dB, while it was 112.3 dB in Marine Drive, Abdulali said. The rest of the city witnessed moderate use of crackers, mostly green crackers like anar, sparklers, chakris and aerial fireworks, this year, she added.
"The maximum noise levels were lower than the last year during COVID-19 pandemic. This is only of because the green crackers that have lower decibel levels than the traditional ones. Although the overall bursting of crackers was more this year as compared to last year, the use of green crackers kept the maximum decibel levels less," she said.
Before Diwali, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar had urged citizens to keep noise and air pollution levels under check while bursting firecrackers during the festival of lights.
"Crackers are an integral part of Diwali festivities and they should be. However, while bursting crackers, people must keep a check on noise and air pollution levels," Pednekar had said.
Last year, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had banned fireworks in the city during Diwali, but permitted the use of mild crackers at private premises on the day of Laxmi Pujan.