Mumbai kept noise, air pollution low this Diwali

Mumbaikars can breathe and hear easy. Air and noise pollution in the city this Diwali was significantly low.

Data gathered by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) show noise levels across 45 stations in Mumbai, 10 in Navi Mumbai and five in Thane were the lowest in five years since 2008, while air pollution was also lower than previous years.

Continuous monitoring of air quality at stations such as Bandra, Sion, Vashi and Airoli during Diwali revealed average concentration of toxic pollutant respirable particulate suspended matter (RSPM) on Laxmi Puja day, November 13, was 280 g/m3 in Bandra, above the 100 g/m3 limit. But it was second lowest recorded in the area in four years.

The highest 414 g/m3 was recorded in 2009 and 358 g/m3 in 2011. It was lowest in 2010 at 182 g/m3.

Sion recorded 125 g/m3, Vashi 96 g/m3 and Airoli 268 g/m3.

The levels soared on November 14, with Bandra recording 318 g/m3, the highest in the city, and Sion 296 g/m3. The levels, however, reduced in Vashi and Airoli to 78 and 217 g/m3.

Levels of another toxic pollutant nitrogen oxides (NOx) on Laxmi Puja were highest in Vashi at 226 g/m3, almost triple the limit of 80 g/m3. Sion recorded 205 g/m3, but Bandra and Airoli hit lows of 95 and 54 g/m3.

Bandra NOx levels on Laxmi Puja day this year were higher than only 2010, when 45 g/m3 was recorded, since 2009.

The highest decibel (dB) levels in Mumbai between November 13 and 16 were 99.6 in Mumbai, 98.3 in Navi Mumbai and 97.3 in Thane, much below the limit of 125 for crackers.

Activists and authorities attributed the change to increased awareness.

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