The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’s (MPCB) data on noise pollution across 45 areas in Mumbai shows that there wasn’t a noteworthy drop in noise levels this year. The data, which is a preliminary version of a detailed report on air and noise pollution during Diwali released by the MPCB every year, clearly shows that the noise levels had not reduced considerably as compared to recent years.
This is in contrast with the Awaaz Foundation’s preliminary report which shows a dramatic drop in decibel levels. Its report had said that noise levels this Diwali were low throughout.
‘’Not a single location in the western suburbs recorded decibel levels which exceeded noise limits,’’ said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of Awaz Foundation. She said the information was preliminary as she had only toured parts of western suburbs.
PK Mirashe, joint director of MPCB, confirmed that there was no noteworthy difference in the noise levels this year, neither was there any drop. “Though the data concerning noise levels is preliminary information, it has hardly any evidence to show that there was a noteworthy drop in noise levels,” he said.
According to the information updated on the MPCB’s website on Friday, decibel levels at Malabar Hill fluctuated between 64.1 dB (decibels) and 97.6 dB over four days between November 13 and November 16. In 2011, the recorded levels fluctuated between 59.6 dB and 102.8 dB at the same location which houses residences of the chief minister and other prominent people.
The data recorded this year is more comprehensive with day and night time records of over three days. In 2011, the recording was done for one day only. Thus, despite a more representative sample in place, only a negligible drop in decibel levels can be seen to be reflected at prominent public spaces.