Mumbai recorded one of the lowest noise levels caused by firecrackers during Diwali in recent years, NGO Awaaz Foundation has said. It measured noise levels during the permissible hours for bursting firecrackers on Saturday, November 14 from 8 pm to 10 pm and until the next morning. The maximum noise level recorded this year was 105.5 decibel (dB) and was recorded just before the deadline of 10 pm at Shivaji Park near a Silence Zone board. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had banned the use of firecrackers and fireworks in the city in a bid to check the spread of COVID-19.Ad”This is the first time since 2010, when Shivaji Park was declared a Silence Zone by the Bombay High Court, that firecrackers were lit there during Diwali. The maximum level recorded in 2019 was 112.3 dB; in 2018 it was 114.1 dB and in 2017 it was 117.8 dB,” activist Sumaira Abdulali, founder of Awaaz Foundation, said.The NGO credited strict guidelines of the state government on bursting of firecrackers and growing awareness among citizens for the reduction in noise.”There was crowding at Shivaji Park and many people did not wear masks. The government had also declared a ban on the use of crackers in any public place. It was difficult to take measurements throughout the city since, although aerial firecrackers and bombs were audible in parts of Mumbai, they were scattered in private residential societies which were inaccessible. I received complaints from citizens in Borivli, 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, crackers’ use was significantly less than in previous years,” she added.”Firecracker use was also considerably less than in previous years for all the days of Diwali and the few crackers that were used consisted mainly of sparklers, chakris and anars, with scattered use of aerial crackers and rassi bombs,” she said.”I would like to thank citizens of Mumbai, the police and the state government for taking up the impossible challenge of reducing noise pollution in our city, one of the noisiest in the world.”It was heartening to see the massive change brought about through active participation of all, which has succeeded in significantly reducing noise pollution from some of its most acute sources including during Ganpati, Eid-e-Milad and Diwali,” Abdulali said.