Despite the awareness spread by traders, schools, business houses and various NGOs for promoting eco-friendly Diwali by holding anti-cracker campaigns ahead of the festival, the level of noise pollution exceeded the permissible limit on the Diwali night.

Data collected by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) through the use of noise-monitoring systems installed at prime places across the city over the past five years has shown that the level of noise pollution on Diwali night this year have increased, after seeing a downfall in the past 1-2 years.

In compliance with the Supreme Court order, regarding control of noise pollution during the festival season, the Punjab Pollution Control Board has been collecting data through the noise monitoring systems at a residential area (Model Town), silent zone (Civil Hospital) and a commercial area (near Gol Diggi) for Bathinda city.

As per the data released by the PPCB, the noise pollution was recorded at 74.96 decibel (dB) in commercial area this year. This was recorded at 61.6 in 2014, 79.1 dB in 2013 and 103.0 dB in 2012. The maximum level of noise pollution in commercial zone of Gol Diggi was recorded at 84.3 dB in 2011 and at 104.5 DB in 2010.

As per the data, in the residential area (Model Town) the noise levels have been recorded at 68.37 dB this year as compared to 51.6 in 2014, 75.7 dB in 2013 and 103.3 dB in 2012.

The noise pollution level in silent zone (Civil Hospital) has witnessed increase to 72.28 dB this year from to 46.6 dB in 2014, 77.7 dB in 2013 and 100.5dB in 2012.

According to the findings, the minimum and maximum noise levels in the sensitive/silence zone of the city on Diwali night in 2011 were recorded at 61.9 DB and 70.1 dB, respectively. On the other hand, the figures for 2010 stood at 59.5 DB and 94.8 dB.

The ambient air quality standards in respect to noise for different zones shall be prescribed under Rule 3 (1) of Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, are: 75 dB and 70dB during the day and night time, respectively, for industrial area, 65 dB and 55 dB for commercial area, 55 dB and 45 dB for residential area and 50 dB and 40 dB for silence zone. 

As per the rules, day time shall mean from 6 pm to 10 pm and night time shall mean 10 pm to 6 am.

Source: November 1, 2016, The Tribune