When this year began, Mumbai was India’s noisiest city. In the eleven months that followed, its people campaigned, its court passed orders and its government acted to shake off this dubious distinction.
By Diwali, two locations — in Andheri and Powai — were named India’s quietest during the festival.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which had named Mumbai the noisiest in February, was now praising the city’s anti-noise campaigners and calling the fight against noise pollution a ‘citizen movement’.
And, Diwali was not the only time the results were seen.
During Ganeshotsav, Mumbai’s noisiest festival, the highest recorded noise level dropped from 123.2 decibels (dB) in 2013 to 116.4 dB in 2016 and Dussehra levels fell from 103.4 db to 98.9db. Janmashtami and the Mahim fair were slightly noisier.
“More than any of the enforcement authorities, the credit has to go to the people of Mumbai for standing up for change and making the city a better place. We only were successful in convincing the people of the need to reduce noise,” said Satish Gavai, principal secretary, state environment department. Gavai added, “The celebration of festivals or even small joys of our daily life has nothing to do with making noise.”
The awareness campaigns aside, a series of court orders ensured the dramatic drop in noise by the end of the year.
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