Covid-19 guidelines go up in smoke during Diwali in Thane, Ulhasnagar, noise pollution spikes

While there was a 45-50% reduction in bursting firecrackers as compared to previous years during Diwali in Thane, citizen activist Dr Mahesh Bedekar’s findings show the noise pollution levels still surpassed the permissible limit on Saturday. Ulhasnagar was noisy as well, according to reports.

According to Bedekar’s findings for Saturday, residents were seen bursting crackers in large numbers at Upvan lake, Hiranandani Meadows, Hiranandani Estate and around Ghodbunder Road.

At 8.30pm, the noise level was 90-95dB (decibels) at Hiranandani Estate. The same level was noted at Upvan lake at 9.45pm.

“There were groups of people coming together at Upvan lake to burst crackers. Social distancing norms were not followed as well. For Hiranandani Estate and Meadows, although few noisy crackers were burst, majority of them were created a lot of smoke, causing pollution,” said Bedekar.

Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had appealed to citizens to not burst crackers, stressing the need to be cautious during the pandemic.

Naupada reported a noise level of 65-70dB at 10.30pm. For residential areas, the permissible noise limit is 55dB till 10pm and up to 45dB post 10pm.

“The analysis of pollution [due to Diwali firecrackers] will be completed on Tuesday. We will share the findings then,” said Manisha Pradhan, pollution control officer at Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC).

Noise activists in Ulhasnagar have alleged that people were bursting crackers till late in Goal Maidan, Bhatia Chowk area, OT Section 3, and Maratha Section.

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