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City celebrates a less noisy Diwali as children burst fewer crackers

TNN | Updated: Oct 20, 2017

MUMBAI: Diwali is indeed getting quieter with each passing year, and the credit goes to schools that have managed to condition children against bursting firecrackers by repeatedly reinforcing the ill-effects of noise and air pollution they cause. As a result, Diwali 2017 appears to be relatively less noisy.

After 9pm, Marine Drive, parts of Dadar, Lalbaug, Kandivli East, Ghatkopar and Powai reported loud bursts, though they were still fewer than in the previous years.

Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation told TOI: “Throughout the city, there were very few crackers. Most people were seen bursting noiseless crackers instead of bombs. It feels much lower than last year.”

Without children as consumers to drive this segment, cracker sales have progressively dwindled. Ajay Sethi, whose son studies at a leading school in Andheri West, recalled how he would insist on ladi bombs during his childhood. “But Ayaan, my son, did not even stop by the cracker stall when we went shopping at Andheri market. I said he could choose colourful sparklers or anaars but he said his teacher had said these too leave a trail of smoke. My wife and I shrugged and gave up,” he said.

What has helped the anti-pollution cause is fewer cracker shops in the city, following the Bombay high court order to deny licences to such stalls in residential zones. Lokhandwala Road in Andheri has barely two stalls where once there were 15-20. The Delhi high court ban on firecrackers has radiated its effects in Mumbai as well. I-T professional Shantanu Banerjee of Kandivli is just back from an assignment in the national capital.

He said, “It is true that we in Mumbai do not face additional threats from crop burning or cold weather that are polluting Delhi and causing smog and haze. But any amount of caution is welcome. Already the horizon is hazy through the day, especially in the morning. The Delhi high court order is an alarm call for a megapolis like Mumbai where traffic is causing enormous heat and pollution. Burning firecrackers will exacerbate the problem even temporarily.”

This Diwali, though, localities such as Dadar, Worli, Prabhadevi, Bandra East, Andheri, Malad, Borivli and Mulund, which once reverberated with sound late into the night, reported fewer bursts. This, despite the entry of newer varieties of colourful and noiseless crackers that emit only light.

Publication / Article Source: Times of India

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