Sleepless on link road, construction din to blameTarini Puri| TNN | Nov 29, 2016, 08.55 AM IST
PUNE: On most days, Priti Shahane's daughters, aged four and nine years, find it difficult to sleep beyond 6am, although they are not expected to be up for school before 7.30am. The reasonhigh decibel noise from the construction site of an upcoming residential-cum-commercial project across their residence at Kumar Shantiniketan on Sus Pashan road.
Complaining to the police and on the Pune Municipal Corporation's mobile app has had little impact, Priti reveals.
With contractors rushing to meet deadlines, affected citizens say work at most project sites begins early in the morning and continues late into the night. The noise of metal clanging against metal, or excavators running against hard rock, the banging for carpentry jobs or the constant whirring of mixers preparing concrete for construction have made their lives a living nightmare.
The result is not just broken sleep cycles, but also other health concerns like headaches, irritability and a host of side-effects that many are not even able to directly blame on the persisting noise pollution around them. Arguably, the worst affected are those staying at home for most of the day including children, the elderly and the sick.
Describing the tough time she has been facing, Ambika Sharma, another resident of Kumar Shantiniketan said, "I have one-year old twins and both of them are light sleepers. They usually wake up startled with all the massive bangs that can be heard throughout the day."
Work starts very early in the morning and the noise and dust is intolerable, concurs a resident of Vanshaj Prestigeanother residential complex directly impacted by the construction.
Vikramsingh Rajput, project manager at one such construction site in the area, admits they are under pressure of promised delivery schedules. "We have to keep up with the deadlines. The labourers don't mind working extra hours as it means they can send a little extra money to their families. We have received complaints from residents nearby and have accommodated as much as possible. But we too want to maximize our output," he said.
Responding to TOI's queries on the action taken to reduce the impact, Darshan Kalekar, senior engineer of Amar Builders (the company constructing the property opposite Shantiniketan) said, "We have issued a stern warning to the contractor to not start work early. All workers have been asked to assemble not before 7.30am, so that work can begin at 8am."
Not too far, some residents of Felicita Cooperative Housing Society even considered installing noise-blocking glass, revealed its secretary Manish Mishra. Several wings of the residential complex share a boundary wall with an under-construction office building. Describing the pain they endure, Mishra said, "It's like someone hammering against your head the whole day. The fact that Pune is over hard rock, probably makes it worse." Chairman of the society Raman Ramchandran said, "Residents complain of difficulty in sleeping and studying because of the constant sound of digging next door. The first two-three months were the worst."
Analysis of average noise levels at construction sites, undertaken recently by the Mumbai-based Awaaz Foundation, revealed most are flouting the rules for permissible noise levels. According to Sumaira Abdulali, the prolonged daily exposure makes it worse for those directly impacted. "Any noise beyond 85dB is harmful for health. It is up to the local civic bodies to formulate regulations for construction sites," she said.
The police in the area appears toothless on the matter and passes the responsibility to the Pune Municipal Corporation. Dayanand Dhome, in-charge of Chatushrungi police station said, "Complaints received on the 100 number are immediately attended to by us. However, I am not aware of the rules regarding construction noise."
What the pollution boards say:
* Central Pollution Control Board: Noise limits are prescribed for construction equipment at the manufacturing stage itself. Besides, regulatory agencies have been directed to enforce the standards to control and regulate noise pollution
* Maharashtra Pollution Control Board: All builders are required to obtain consent of the board before starting construction. The board has laid down permissible noise levels and work timings for such work. In case of grievances, citizens can complain online to the MPCB, or submit an application at the board's office. Verification of the same is undertaken, and action taken thereof.
How the Noise Affects You
* Mental disturbances including irritation, misunderstandings, decreased working capacity, poor concentration, etc
* General fatigue
* Hypertension and stress
* Social and behavioural changes: annoyance and aggression
* Sleep disturbances
* Cardiovascular changes
* Reduced performance, cognitive function, attention span and memorization abilities
* Gradual hearing loss
Source: WHO Guidelines for Community Noise
Much Beyond the Permissible
Work/ Machinery-------------------------------Normal Noise Levels (In dB)
Pneumatic drillers (for excavation)------------100
Latest CommentMany people still don't fully understand the effect that the constant noise around them is having on their mind and bodyTarini Gulati Puri
Source: Awaaz Foundation
Home »Abhivyakti »Hamare Columnists »Others» Bhaskar Editorial By Sumaira Abdulaliहमारे मुश्किल काम ही होते हैं ज्यादा प्रेरकसुमेरा अब्दुल अली | Nov 28, 2016, 07:23 IST
मेरा मानना है कि जो चीज आपको मुश्किल लगती है, उसमें कठिनाई आती हैं, उससे आपको ज्यादा प्रेरणा मिलती है।
मेरा मानना है कि जो चीज आपको मुश्किल लगती है, उसमें कठिनाई आती हैं, उससे आपको ज्यादा प्रेरणा मिलती है। जैसे अटैक! यदि कोई किसी को किसी काम से रोकने के लिए हमला करता है, तो कई बार उसका परिणाम उल्टा ही दिखाई पड़ता है। इसके विपरीत जिस पर अटैक होता है, उसे यह पता चलता है कि वह जो कर रहा है, उसकी देश को और लोगों को सख्त जरूरत है।
मैं अकेले ही काम करती हूं। मुझे न तो कोई फंडिंग मिलती है, न ऑर्गनाजेशन है और न ही बड़ी संख्या में लोग। यदि कोई ध्वनि प्रदूषण या फिर पर्यावरण के क्षेत्र में कुछ करना चाहता है, तो मैं उसे मदद करने को तैयार हूं। मेरे घर के पास एक मस्जिद थी। उसके लाउडस्पीकर को मैंने शिकायत करके बंद करवा दिया। यदि किसी और को अपने घर के पास प्रदूषण रोकने के लिए कुछ करना है, तो उसे खुद पहल करनी होगी। आपको यह जानकर आश्चर्य होगा कि जब मैंने ध्वनि प्रदूषण के खिलाफ आवाज उठानी शुरू की, तो मुझे लगा कि जिनके खिलाफ में यह कर रही हूं, वे मेरे खिलाफ हो जाएंगे। पर हुआ इसके विपरीत! क्योंकि जो लोग मेरे खिलाफ हुए वे मेरे करीबी दोस्त थे। उन्हें लगता था कि वे जहां मुझे कहेंगे मैं वहां पर्यावरण और ध्वनि प्रदूषण की अपनी लड़ाई में नरम पड़ जाऊंगी। किंतु जब मैंने अपने उसूलों से समझौता करने से इनकार किया, तो वे नाराज हो गए। पर यही सब बातें जब मैंने दूसरों से कही तो कोई खास विरोध नहीं हुआ। मेरे प्रयासों से 2003 में ‘साइलेंस जोन’ के बारे में कोर्ट का पहला ऑर्डर आया। इसके मुताबिक जहां ‘साइलेंस जोन’ थे, वहां दस बजे नवरात्रि के लाउडस्पीकर बंद करने थे।
मुझे लगा था कि लोग इसका बड़े पैमाने पर विरोध करेंगे पर ऐसा नहीं हुआ बल्कि लोगों ने कोर्ट के ऑर्डर का स्वागत किया। गिरजाघरों ने ‘मिड नाइट मास’ को अपने आप टाइम चैंज कर दस बजे के अंदर बंद करना शुरू किया। मुझे तब सुखद आश्चर्य हुआ जब नवरात्रि के बाद एक बड़े नवरात्रि मंडल के प्रमुख आयोजक ने फोन किया और कहा कि उनकी बेटी काॅलेज में है। वह इस विषय पर एक प्रोजेक्ट करना चाहती है कृपया उसकी मदद करें। इसी तरह एक मस्जिद के ट्रस्टी ने मुझे कॉल किया और कहा कि हम ध्वनि प्रदूषण वाली आपकी बात से सहमत हैं। हमें बताएं कि हम इस दिशा में कैसे काम करें।
मेरे काम से पर्यावरण को लेकर आई जागरूकता का सवाल है, तो यह देश मेरा है। मेरी फैमेली का देश की आजादी में योगदान रहा है। स्वतंत्रता सेनानी और अखिल भारतीय कांग्रेस समिति के तीसरे अध्यक्ष बदरुद्दीन तैयबजी मेरे परदादा थे। ख्यात पक्षी विशेषज्ञ सालिम अली मेरे चाचा थे। पक्षी विज्ञानी हुमायं अब्दुल अली मेरे ससुर हैं। चूंकि मेरी फैमली का एक इतिहास रहा है, इसलिए मैं जब कुछ करने की ठान लेती हूं, तो मैं इस बात की चिंता नहीं करती कि कौन साथ रहेगा? कौन छोड़कर चले जाएगा? कौन-सी पार्टी मेरे खिलाफ हो जाएगी। मेरा मानना है कि जब आप किसी को खुश करने के लिए कोई काम करते हैं, तो वह बहुत ही सीमित हो जाता है। इसलिए मैं ‘कर्मयोग’ में विश्वास करती हूं कि मैं जो कुछ कर रही हूं उसके बदले मुझे कुछ भी नहीं मिलना है। मैं मूल रूप से महाराष्ट्र के अलबाग की हूं। मुझे लगता है कि सभी को अपने घर के आस-पास ही बचपन और छात्र जीवन के वक्त कुछ न कुछ ऐसा दिखता जो आगे चलकर उसे प्रेरणा देता है। मेरे घर के पास दरिया, जंगल, पक्षी और पर्यावरण था परंतु जब वहां रेत खनन शुरू हुआ, तो पर्यावरण पर असर पड़ने लगा। इस तरह मैंने 1998 में पर्यावरण के क्षेत्र में काम करना शुरू किया। सबसे पहले मेरे पास कोली समाज के लोग मदद मांगने आए थे। मगर उस वक्त मेरे बच्चे छोटे थे, लिहाजा मैंने काम धीमी गति से शुरू किया। किंतु जब मैं मुंबई रहने आई, तो मैंने ध्वनि प्रदूषण के क्षेत्र में पूरी क्षमता से काम करना शुरू किया। इस बीच मुझ पर 2004 और 2010 में जानलेवा हमले भी हुए, जिससे मेरे इरादों को और बल मिला।
पर्यावरण और प्रदूषण के क्षेत्र में काम करना मैंने 1998 में शुरू किया था। मगर आगे चलकर मुझे लगा कि यदि कुछ ठोस करना है, तो एक संस्था का होना बहुत जरूरी है। तो मैंने 2006 में ‘आवाज फाउंडेशन’ रजिस्टर्ड कराया। आवाज फाउंडेशन के सिद्धांत और काम करने का तराका दूसरे एनजीओ से अलग है। हम किसी से फंड नहीं मांगते और न ही में विदेश से कोई चंदा मिलता है। हम अपने वाॅलेंटियर के बल पर ही काम करते हैं। एक बार शिवाजी पार्क में शिवसेना की रैली हो रही थी और मैं आवाज के स्तर को मापने के लिए वहां पहुंची, तो शिवसेना प्रमुख बाल ठाकरे ने अपने भाषण में कहा कि शिवसेना की आवाज शेर की आवाज है। इसे कोई दबा नहीं सकता है। इसके बाद कहा गया कि मैं सिर्फ हिंदुओं के त्योहारों और उनके ही आयोजनों के दौरान ही ध्वनि प्रदूषण मापने पहुंच जाती हूं। मस्जिदों के लाउडस्पीकर की आवाज बंद कराने नहीं जाती। मैंने जवाब में कहा कि इस बारे में जो पीआईएल मैंने अदालत में दाखिल की हुई थी, उसमें मस्जिदों के लाउडस्पीकर की भी बात का जिक्र है। अदालत ने इस संबंध में लोकल बॉडी को कदम उठाने का निर्देश दिया हुआ है। चूंकि मुंबई मनपा में शिवसेना की सत्ता है, इसलिए मस्जिदों के लाऊडस्पीकर बंद कराने का काम शिवसेना को ही करना चाहिए।
2008 में जब पहली बार हमने ‘नो हॉर्न प्लीज’ की मुहिम शुरू की, तो मुंबई पुलिस ने एक कार्यक्रम किया था। इस दौरान मेरी मुलाकात अमिताभ बच्चन से हुई। उन्होंने मेरे काम की प्रशंसा भी की। इसी तरह 2010 में इस ठाणे में आयोजित कार्यक्रम में अभिनेता जावेद जाफरी, सचिन खेडेकर और श्रेयस तलपदे से मुलाकात हुई। उन्होंने बाद में मुझे कुछ मैसेज भी भेजे, जिसका वीडियो हमने बनाया है। पर्यावरण और ध्वनि प्रदूषण क्षेत्र में मेरे कार्यों का बहुत असर पड़ा है। पॉलिसी में बदलाव हुए हैं। 2012 में सेंड मायनिंग पर हमने संयुक्त राष्ट्र में ‘आवाज फाउंडेशन’ की ओर से एक डॉक्यूमेंट जारी किया, जबकि 2002 में इस बारे में लोगों को पता ही नहीं था कि यह है क्या और क्यों नहीं करनी चाहिए। और आज पूरी दुनिया इस संबंध में जागरूक है। अभी एक महीने पहले भी जब यूएन के प्रमुख मुंबई आए थे, तो हमने उन्हें निवेदन सौंपा कि सेंड माइनिंग के इंटरनेशनल ट्रेड के एजेंडे को शामिल किया जाए ताकि इससे होने वाले पर्यावरण के नुकसान को रोका जा सके। (जैसा उन्होंने मुंबई में विनोद यादव को बताया)
सुमेरा अब्दुल अली, पर्यावरणविद, आवाज फाउंडेशन email@example.com
Web Title: Bhaskar editorial by Sumaira Abdulali
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Aware citizens helped bring down noise pollution: PoliceAhmed Ali| Nov 8, 2016, 07.25 AM ISTRepresentative image
MUMBAI: NGO Awaaz Foundation on Monday said noise levels in the city during Diwali this year was 10 decibels less than previous years. It thanked the Mumbaikars, Mumbai police and the traffic police in bringing down the noise levels as well as air pollution in the city , which is considered to be one of the noisiest in the world.
Police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar on Monday gave the credit for bringing down noise pollution to citizens. "We thank Mumbaikars for keeping noise levels low this Diwali. The festival was quiet and peaceful due to continuous campaigning by Awaaz Foundation. The Mumbai traffic police and the Indian Medical Association too played key roles in spreading awareness and we hope noise pollution will further reduce in years to come," said Padsalgikar.
He said due to less bursting of firecrackers, quality of air in Mumbai too was better compared to other cities. Police said this Diwali, they took action wherever high decibel levels were recorded. Worli, Girgaum chowpatty , Marine Drive and Juhu chowpatty were among the few public places that reported heavy noise levels as people used these open spaces to burst crackers.
Sumaira Abdulali, Awaaz Foundation activist, said besides their campaign, schools played an important role."Schools helped in bringing about awareness among children and kids themselves took the decision not to burst noisy crackers this Diwali." said Abdulali. Police said the NGO, with the help of college students, have also brought awareness among motorists about the no-honking drive. Joint commissioner of police (traffic) Milind Bharambe said due to the campaign and action, noise level due to honking has gone down as well.
"Besides creating awareness till mid-October, we have registered 12,000 offences against motorists for unnecessary honking. Due to continous efforts and campaign, awareness is increasing and people now avoid honking without reason."
Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, a member of the Indian Medical Association, said honking is a like a disease that keeps on increasing. "It's like hornflu -seeing one honking, the other motorist honks too and it keeps multiplying. Noise pollution is a serious health hazard and can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels and can have direct effects on one's heart," said Sanghvi.
The Times of India had recently run a campaign against rising noise levels in the city.
Mumbai traffic police launch anti-honking campaignThe Awaaz Foundation is hoping noise pollution levels will go down further once motorists cut down on honking.By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: November 8, 2016 2:15 am
Mumbai police commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar said while announcing the campaign, “Motorists indulge in unnecessary honking without realising the impact it can have on their health.” (Source: Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran/File)
AGAINST THE backdrop of their success in reducing noise levels during the festival of Diwali this year, the Mumbai traffic police, along with the ‘Awaaz’ Foundation and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) have launched ‘honk flu’, a campaign to reduce unnecessary honking on the city’s roads.
Mumbai police commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar said while announcing the campaign, “Motorists indulge in unnecessary honking without realising the impact it can have on their health.”Dr John Panicker, national coordinator of the Indian Medical Association’s Safe Sound Initiative said that noise from excessive honking can lead to heart and mental health problems.
Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation said, “The slump in noise levels during Diwali was a relief. Mumbai was low on noise and air pollution compared to several other cities.” She said the Awaaz Foundation is hoping noise pollution levels will go down further once motorists cut down on honking.
She said the noise level due to fire crackers this Diwali was 10 per cent lower than the previous year. Last year, the noise level stood at 123 decibels, while this year it was at113 decibels The traffic police, which has already registered over 12,000 cases of incessant and unexplained honking in the past couple of months, has been asked by the police to continue the crackdown. Around 1,000 cases have been filed by police for causing noise pollution.
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Have you got the horn flu?The traffic police, which has already registered more than 12,000 cases of incessant and unexplained honking in the past couple of months, have now been asked to continue the crackdown with a drive that flagged off on MondayMUMBAI Updated: Nov 08, 2016 01:03 IST
Mumbai Police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar (second from right), during the launch of the ‘Horn Flu’ campaign on Monday. (Bhushan Koyande/HT photo)
The Mumbai police may have a remedy.
The Mumbai traffic police, nonprofit Awaaz Foundation and the Indian Medical Association have launched an anti-honking campaign called horn flu to cut down on the noise vehicles cause and to spread awareness about how much the noise from your vehicle horn could hurt you.
The campaign comes at a time Mumbai recorded a drop in noise levels during Diwali — from 113.5 decibel this year, against 2015’s 123.1 db.
The traffic police, which has already registered more than 12,000 cases of incessant and unexplained honking in the past couple of months, have now been asked to continue the crackdown with a drive that flagged off on Monday.
“Motorists indulge in unnecessary honking. People should know it is bad and has side effects on health. These rules should be followed in and around silence zones and residential patches. Most times, honking is unnecessary,” said Dattatray Padsalgikar, Mumbai police commissioner.
The campaign will involve school students to spread awareness at traffic junctions using placards. Officials said awareness campaigns in schools before Diwali actually got many students to stay away from firecrackers this year.
Sumaira Abdulali of the Awaaz Foundation said, “We consider honking a health issue, and that needs to be cured. The slump in noise levels during Diwali was a big relief, with Mumbai being low on noise and air pollution compared to several other cities. Now, we expect the same from motorists, to cut down on honking.”
The police had used decibel metres to measure noise levels even during Ganpati and Navratri festivals this years.
Doctors said exposure to high levels of noise causes several health issues. “Excessive noise from sources such as honking can cause various health problems related to the heart, mental health and can even lead to cancer,” said Dr John Panicker, national coordinator of Indian Medical Association’s Safe Sound Initiative.
The campaign is not timebound and will continue as long as it is needed to make it effective, officials said.
Sound and fury muted during Diwali, but air pollution worrisome
This Diwali, the level of noise from bursting crackers has come down to 113.5dB from last year’s 123 dB (Abhinav P Kocharekar)
DNA CORRESPONDENT | Wed, 2 Nov 2016-06:55am , Mumbai , DNAEven the trend of lighting crackers a few days before and after Diwali came down to a major extent this year
The city decided to keep its noise levels in check while celebrating Diwali, delighting anti- noise pollution activists who have been running several campaigns to avoid noisy crackers. The maximum noise level on Sunday night was 113.5 dB -- down from last year's 123 dB. Even the trend of lighting crackers a few days before and after Diwali came down to a major extent this year, say activists.
"Since firecrackers were manufactured at lower decibel levels (as recorded in a joint testing of crackers by Awaaz Foundation and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board), even when time-limit violations occurred, the decibel levels were lower," said Sumaira Abdulali, Convenor of Awaaz Foundation, which has been leading the fight against noise pollution.
However, she said that while Mumbaikars might have used fewer crackers, time limit was a problem. "Even at very prominent locations like Marine Drive, the loudest firecrackers were used after 10 pm, despite police presence. The highest reading of 113.5dB was recorded around 11.15pm in Marine Drive," said Abdulali.
Dr Mahesh Bedekar, a gynaecologist who runs a hospital in Thane and who had filed a Public Interest Litigtion (PIL) against noise during religious festivals, said that increasing awareness, especially among children and youth, played a crucial role.
"It is a huge relief that youngsters are keeping away from noisy crackers, compared to five years ago. In the coming years, we are hopeful to see even these noise levels reducing and lesser crackers being burst," he said.
No let-up in air pollutionWhile you might have escaped the effects of noise pollution in Mumbai, the air you inhaled was a cause of worry.
According to the readings collated by System for Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), the air quality index for (prominent pollutant- PM2.5) in Mumbai was 278 (ranked 'Poor') on Diwali day and 315 (ranked 'Very poor') after Diwali.
The SAFAR portal also listed the least and most polluted areas during Diwali. While Malad was the highest polluted, Andheri, Nerul, BKC, Chembur, Mazgaon, Worli, Bhandup, Colaba and Borivli saw the least pollution.
Officials from the Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai, said that the wind saved Mumbai from the effects of aggravated air pollution. Speedy wind ensured that the sky was clear and the impact of pollution was not very severe, they said.
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Mumbai: Air quality ‘poor’ but it was a ‘quieter’ DiwaliThe data further shows that the air quality on October 30 night in Mumbai was better than that of Navi Mumbai and Delhi that registered air quality indices as worse as 309 and 452, respectively.
Written by Rohit Alok | Mumbai | Published:November 2, 2016 1:53 am
Mumbai witnessed a spike in pollution levels a day after Diwali. AP
The air quality recorded on the night Mumbai celebrated Diwali was “poor” but, for the first time in a decade, the city experienced one of its most “quiet” Diwalis. According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), on October 30 night, the air quality index (AQI) in Mumbai was 278, almost the same as last year’s Diwali at 279.
The data gathered by SAFAR shows Andheri, Mazgaon and Malad were the worst-affected areas in the city. Malad reported the highest air pollution with an AQI of 311 on Sunday night. While Andheri and Mazgaon recorded 306 and 295, respectively, Borivali recorded the lowest air quality levels in the city.The data further shows that the air quality on October 30 night in Mumbai was better than that of Navi Mumbai and Delhi that registered air quality indices as worse as 309 and 452, respectively.
But Mumbai witnessed a spike in pollution levels a day after Diwali as the AQI went up to 318, falling under ‘very poor’ AQI category. AQI levels between 201 and 300 fall under ‘poor’ category and 301-400 is ‘very poor’, indicating a health risk for people sensitive to air pollution.
According to Neha Parkhi, a senior programmer with SAFAR, though air quality deteriorated in Mumbai post Diwali, it will improve in the coming days. “The air pollution was poor because of the low temperature and low wind speed that accumulated the emissions released on Sunday night. The humidity as well played a big role in trapping the particles during the peak pollution hours between 11 pm and 5 am on the intervening night of Sunday,” said Parkhi.
Mumbai’s temperatures recorded by the India Meteorological Department on Tuesday show a minimum of 22.2 degrees Celsius and a maximum of 36.1 degrees Celsius with a varying humidity of 50 per cent to 79 per cent.
Parkhi said on Monday morning, the lead pollutant was particulate matter (PM) 2.5 (small pollutant particles that can enter the lungs) and PM 10 (slightly larger, coarser particles). Both were expected twice more than their safe limits. As against the permissible limit of 60 microgrammes per cubic metre (µg/m3) for PM 2.5, levels were as high as 145.9µg/m3 in Mumbai. Similarly, PM 10 levels were 228.9µg/m3 against a safe limit of 100µg/m3.
Mumbai experienced one of its most quiet Diwalis this year with noise levels across the city well below violation levels. Activists said while the noise from most crackers was under the permissible limit, many violated the 10 pm deadline set by the Mumbai Police citing Bombay High Court orders and tenets of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
“Although Mumbaikars used fewer firecrackers, enforcement of time limits was inadequate as even at very prominent locations such as Marine Drive, the noisiest firecrackers were used after 10 pm, in spite of police presence. The highest reading of 113.5 dB was recorded at around 11.15 pm at Marine Drive,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
On the night of October 30, activists spanned across the city noting the noise levels through meters. In comparison to last year’s maximum decibel levels of 123 dB, this year the maximum decibel level dropped to 113.5dB.
“Since firecrackers were manufactured at lower decibel levels, a joint inspection of firecrackers by Awaaz Foundation and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board found that even at places where time-limit violations occurred, the decibel levels were lower,” Abdulali added.
Worli and Marine Drive were among places where noise levels ranged between 90 dB and 113.5 dB. Most other places in Mumbai witnessed a quieter Diwali.
At Marine Drive, the highest decibel levels of 111.7 dB and 113.5 dB were recorded after the deadline of 10 pm for bursting crackers. Whereas at Worli sea face, sporadic crackers mostly anars, sparklers and chakris were used.
Mumbai celebrates a quieter Diwali but flouts time limit for firecrackersDiwali was less noisy this year but noise activists said that loud firecrackers were reported from different parts of the city well beyond 10pm, the deadline permitted for bursting crackersMUMBAI Updated: Nov 01, 2016 22:05 IST
A day before Diwali, the Mumbai police had issued a notification that allowed crackers to be burst till 10pm(HT File Photo)
Diwali was less noisy this year with a substantial drop in decibel (dB) as compared to previous years, making it one of the quietest in the last decade. However, noise activists said that loud firecrackers were reported from different parts of the city well beyond 10pm, the deadline permitted for bursting crackers .
A day before Diwali, the Mumbai police had issued a notification that allowed crackers to be burst till 10pm. It had cited several Bombay High Court (HC) orders and tenets of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
According to noise readings from non-profit organisation Awaaz Foundation, the highest decibel (dB) levels were recorded at Marine Drive — 113.5 dB, from a single cracker at 11.15pm. The reading was much lower when compared to last year’s high of 123 dB at Marine Drive itself.
The permissible limits for single crackers is 125 decibels (dB), a series of crackers (ladi) have a limit between 90 decibel (dB) and 110dB, depending on the number of crackers put together.
The state pollution control board and Awaaz had carried out a joint testing of firecrackers on October 18 and the former issued a notification allowing the use of 26 different types of firecrackers across Maharashtra as noise emitted from them did not breach rules.
“While people used fewer firecrackers and it was a much quieter Diwali, the enforcement of the time limit was inadequate. At very prominent locations such as Marine Drive, the noisiest firecrackers were burst after 10pm despite police presence,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
In a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday, Abdulali highlighted that Mumbaiites needed to be congratulated for understanding the health hazards caused by noise pollution and firecrackers.
“It is a positive change from previous years as people used fewer firecrackers and used the police complaint mechanism in large numbers,” she said adding, “Noise levels have been progressively going down and we can safely say this was quantitatively the quietest Diwali in a decade.”
Meanwhile, officials from the Mumbai police said people were fined at different parts of the city for violating the 10pm deadline. “On-field officers fined and detained people for flouting the noise limits, under the Maharashtra Police Act,” said a senior IPS officer. “Strict vigilance and increased police presence was maintained at different parts of the city, especially Marine Drive and Worli Sea Face, on Diwali, where large groups had gathered to burst firecrackers.”
The Mumbai police Twitter handle received several complaints 10pm onwards from areas such as Chembur, Marine Drive, Worli, Sion, Juhu and Khar, where firecrackers went on till 1am in some areas.
Diwali not so festive for these Mumbaiites
‘I coughed up blood on Diwali night’
45-year-old Ajay Karia, a Malad resident, started coughing at 2am on Monday while people were bursting crackers, flouting noise rules in his area.
“I was coughing incessantly for more than 20 minutes. After I coughed blood, I paid a visit to my family doctor. He put me on a liquid diet for three days instead as continuous coughing had affected my oesophagus,” Karia said.
Karia also went on to say since Natraj Apartments, where he stays, is close to the main road it is even more polluted. “I called up the police (on Diwali night) but all attempts in vain. Some of the residents of the building even went downstairs to stop people from bursting crackers but they shrugged them off and continued,” he said.
He feels he would have to leave the city should such situations prevail in the coming years.
‘People who flout norms are selfish’
Sharda Vakharia, a 71-year-old Kandivli resident, had to visit a local diagnostic centre to get her blood pressure checked.
“I was unable to sleep even after midnight as people were busy flouting rules. I started sweating profusely and felt dizzy. I vomited thrice before my son took me to the doctor. My blood pressure had dropped and I was immediately given saline,” Vakharia said.
While talking about people who don’t care about rules, she said, “Even they will get old and would fall sick. They think only about themselves and are not concerned about anyone. These people should at least teach humanitarian values to their children since it is too late for them to learn.”
Doctor advises patient to get out of city for few days
A Borivli resident, Leena Engineer, 34, fell unconscious after feeling claustrophobic on Sunday. “I was struggling to breathe after we closed all the windows and doors to help our 2-year-old girl who was crying throughout the night. People were bursting crackers right underneath our building. I saw a doctor who literally advised me to go for a holiday to a hill station and not stay here or my lungs would be affected,” she said.
She added, “Even at 1am, people were shamefully bursting loud crackers. My child was crying uncontrollably. In order to lessen her troubles, I closed the doors and tried to put her to bed. In the process, I fell unconscious.” Engineer said there is a slum right behind her building. “When my husband asked them to stop, they almost hit him. They were all drunk,” she said.
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Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.