As people refrained from burning firecrackers this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mumbai witnessed one of the quietest and the cleanest Diwali.
Even though there were some parts where firecrackers were burnt on Saturday evening but the city's overall Air Quality Index (AQI) remained at a moderate 107 against the predicted 309 which comes under the very poor category.
Awaaz Foundation noted that the highest noise level was recorded in Shivaji park which was at 105.5 DB due to mild crackers like rassi bomb, anaar, and sparklers.
"The noise pollution level recorded during Diwali this year is the lowest in the last 15 years," Sumaira Abdulali, founder of Awaaz Foundation said. She credited the quieter celebrations this year to the strict guidelines by the state, reported The Hindu.
In order to curb crowding and inconvenience to the COVID-19 patients, BMC has imposed a ban on firecrackers in public and private places, making an exception only for Saturday when people could burst crackers only in private building compounds and houses.
Respirer Living Sciences, a Mumbai based research group monitored air quality at 14 locations found firecrackers reached the peak levels (worst air quality) around 10 pm
The most polluted location was Kalyan, while Borivali was the cleanest. The people living in Mumbai made a noticeable effort to reduce pollution so that they don't cause any trouble to the 10,077 active COVID-19 patients quarantined in their homes or a hospital.
In Shivaji park where people gather every year to buy firecrackers, gathered this year too, and many without masks. Abdulali said she found firecrackers in violation of BMC order in Shivaji Park but not at Marine Drive, Bandra Talao, Worli Sea face.
On a good note, the areas around Shivaji Park witnessed a drop in noise levels from previous years from 114.1 dB in 2018 to 112.8 dB in 2019 to 105.5 dB this year.
There was a change in trends of burning firecrackers as people burnt crackers even after a deadline of 10 pm last year. Around 850 COVID-19 patients were discharged on Diwali by BMC, 91 per cent in the overall recovery rate of the city.