An NGO Awaaz Foundation that measured the noise levels across Mumbai on Diwali night found that noise pollution during this year’s festivities was significantly lower compared to previous years.”The maximum noise levels this year was 105.5 dB and was recorded just before the deadline of 10 pm at Shivaji Park grounds near a Silence Zone board. This is the first time since 2010 when Shivaji Park was declared a Silence Zone by the Bombay High Court that crackers have been used here on Diwali. The maximum level recorded in 2019 was 112.3 dB; in 2018 was 114.1 dB and in 2017 was 117.8 dB,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of Awaaz Foundation that measured the levels. Abdulali travelled across the city to measure noise levels after 8 pm on November 14. She also noted that there was crowding at Shivaji Park and many people did not wear masks. The State Government had declared a ban on the use of crackers in any public place.”I received complaints from citizens in Borivali, Worli, Dahisar, Thane, and Juhu/Versova. In spite of violations by use of illegal crackers and ‘green crackers’ used after the deadline of 10 pm in many parts of the city, use of crackers was significantly less than in previous years,” said Abdulali.According to the report prepared by the foundation, firecracker use was also considerably less than in previous years for all the days of Diwali. The crackers that were used consisted mainly of sparklers, chakris and anars, with scattered use of aerial crackers and ‘rassi’ bombs.”I would like to thank citizens of Mumbai, the Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra Government for taking up the impossible challenge of reducing noise pollution in our city, one of the noisiest in the world,” said Abdulali.