Twenty years ago, people laughed when I spoke of the ill effects of noise pollution. Your ideas are elitist, they said. Indians love noise. Since then, First Information Reports filed by the Police on noise pollution under the Environment Protection Act have become the second highest (after wildlife) environmental crime in Maharashtra. In 2016, a bench of justice Abhay Oka and Justice Riyaz Chhagla at the Bombay High Court passed a comprehensive order against noise pollution and stressed that it was applicable and should be enforced from all sources of noise. The court monitored enforcement of its order thereafter.However, it is only when people take up issues and consistently engage with them, even when seemingly hopeless, that systems change. Constant complaints from citizens using court ordered complaint mechanisms were key to reduce noise levels since 2016, well before Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.Due to more awareness and better enforcement, some sources of noise pollution have been tackled effectively. Others, like religious places and construction continue to violate noise rules with impunity and cause serious distress.The Maharashtra government and police have taken an increasingly active role in ensuring compliance with health-based norms for festivities over the last several years, even while ignoring other, equally damaging sources.The police, as the enforcement authority played a key role in ensuring quieter festivals. Then inspector-general of police, Kolhapur range Shri Vishwas Nangre-Patil executed the first ban on DJs in Western Maharashtra from Kohlapur to Lonavala in 2017, paving the way for a ban in the entire State of Maharashtra thereafter.This absence of DJs alone brought down noise levels significantly during Ganpati in Mumbai. The highest levels of 123.7dB in 2015 showed a steady decline to 113.9 dB in 2018 when the DJ ban was first executed. In 2021, coronavirus restrictions brought the level further down to 93.1dB.Despite non-compliance of noise laws in the rest of India, festival noise in Mumbai has declined steadily even before coronavirus lockdowns. Public awareness and cooperation from Ganpati Mandal Associations and other festival organisers was crucial.Eid-e-Milad is another celebration which has used loudspeakers in processions. Since 2017 senior leaders have appealed to their followers not to use loudspeakers. However, in 2018 celebrations exceeded noise rules and measured 105.3 dB. In 2020 and 2021, with the cooperation of organizers, Eid e Milad processions did not use loudspeakers at all, with one exception at a major, very crowded event at Mohamedali Road, where loudspeakers were installed and recorded a deafening 109.7dB.However, although Supreme Court Orders and a comprehensive Bombay High Court Order of 2016 stress that noise from all sources should be equally restricted under the same laws, implementation remains a problem in specific cases.Religious places are an important source of noise pollution. They continued to use loudspeakers and remained noisy even during lockdown when I received a number of complaints. Although all religious places are Silence Zones as defined in the Noise Rules, and the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court have ordered that noise rules should be uniformly implemented, the police are reluctant to take action on complaints.Noise from construction activities also continued unabated during lockdown, especially from government infrastructure projects including the Coastal Road construction. Residents of the area found it impossible to sleep as construction at high decibel levels continued throughout the night.As the year 2021 draws to a close and 2022 is set to begin, some sources of noise pollution continue and bring misery to residents. Religious places, the Mumbai Metro and Coastal Road projects and construction of private buildings all over the city are prominent.