This Diwali festival season, noisy affair across the city as the sound levels rose beyond the permissible limits. Several activists said that even though there was a noise enforced by the court, residents did not abide by the rules. Violators continued to burst crackers even though the Supreme Court’s 10 pm deadline.
Activist Dr. Mahesh Bedekar claimed that though the use of crackers was less as compared to the last few years, the noise levels continued to be deafening and beyond the permissible decibel limits. He measured the noise levels at various parts of the city over the three days from Narak Chaturdashi to Padwa.
As per the readings measured by Dr. Bedekar, the highest noise levels was on the evening of Laxmi pooja. On this day, the decibel levels rose to 110 at Panchpakhadi. Similarly, on the morning of Narak Chaturdashi, the decibel levels reached 105 at Ram Maruti road as this place has become a meeting point for youngsters over the last several decades. The DJ music just added up to the noise levels here.
The air quality in Thane continued to be very polluted during the festive season. The Air Pollution Index taken by the municipal corporation on Friday hovered between 77% to 147%. While the continuous ambient air quality monitoring station (CAAQM) of the Thane Municipal Corporation’s pollution control cell at Teen Haath Naka showed that the area was most polluted. The Raptacos Brett and Co. (Industrial) was the least polluted with an API of 71%.
Dr. Bedekar said that he was also shocked to see that there was lack of police presence in the city and there was also violation of the timings. In its ruling, the Supreme Court had stated that people will be allowed to burst crackers only for two hours, which was from 8pm to 10pm. But this was not followed. “The number of crackers that were burst were comparatively lesser this year as compared to last year. But the noise levels remained way above the permissible limits. At many places, residents were seen bursting crackers till midnight. The police also were not where to be seen on these days,’’ said Dr. Bedekar.
Activists urged residents to take the onus on themselves to reduce the noise pollution and not to rely on agencies to enforce laws. “The young generation is changing its mindset slowly but the elderly must also change their thinking and be more responsible. Implementing authorities like the state government and policemust also work towards creating more awareness, but residents must be proactive,” said Bedekar.