Navi Mum­bai­ites bring down Di­wali ruckus

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HT FOR NAVIMUMBAI - San­jana Bhalerao san­[email protected]­dus­tan­

NAVI MUM­BAI: The per­sis­tent cam­paigns be­seech­ing res­i­dents to ditch fire­crack­ers be­cause of the high lev­els of noise cre­ated by them seem to have paid off this year. Ac­cord­ing to anti- noise ac­tivists in the city, this Di­wali the city was qui­eter than other fes­ti­vals such as Navra­tri and Gana­p­ati.

Ac­tivists, how­ever, con­tinue to stress on the need for fol­low­ing noise guide­lines. “Al­though Di­wali was qui­eter this year, noise guide­lines were not fol­lowed com­pletely. Many peo­ple con­tin­ued to burst crack­ers past mid­night, de­spite warn­ings,” said Ajay Marathe, an anti-noise ac­tivist from Vashi.

Marathe who had also mapped noise lev­els dur­ing Gana­p­ati and Navra­tri said, “I bought fire­crack­ers to check if the guide­lines were be­ing fol­lowed or not. But not one cracker had the chem­i­cal con­tents men­tioned on the cover. De­spite this bla­tant flout­ing of guide­lines, of­fi­cials refuse to take ac­tion against fire­cracker man­u­fac­tur­ers.”

Se­nior cit­i­zens, who are worst- af­fected by noise lev­els and air pol­lu­tion, said the sit­u­a­tion was marginally bet­ter this year.

“Al­though the in­ten­sity of noise was lesser through the evening, peo­ple con­tin­ued to burst crack­ers late into the night. Agen­cies need to be proac- tive and all hous­ing so­ci­eties must be pro­vided with guide­lines to keep the noise lev­els low,” said Bri­gadier Dharam Prakash, a mem­ber of a se­nior cit­i­zen as­so­ci­a­tion.

Many ex­perts opined that it was the ef­fect of in­fla­tion and not the anti- noise cam­paigns that had led to a qui­eter Di­wali.

Fur­ther, 15 burns pa­tients were also ad­mit­ted in Na­tional Burns Cen­tre, Airoli.

“While the num­ber of burn cases was sim­i­lar to last year, this year we got three crit­i­cal cases be­cause of fire­cracker in­juries. Two of them in­clude chil­dren,” said Su­nil Keswani, sec­re­tary and cos­metic sur­geon, Na­tional Burns Cen­tre.

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