Nagpur: Since India’s biggest festival Deepawali is on the doorstep, many of us were geared up to celebrate with a full swing by lighting diyas, performing puja, and bursting crackers. However, in this time of COVID-19 bursting of firecrackers may prove dangerous due to their contribution to air and noise pollution, particularly on respiratory health. The Nagpur city administration has allowed the bursting of only green crackers this Diwali and that too only for two hours (8 pm -10 pm) and appealed to the citizen to adhere to the norms of green crackers.
CSIR-NEERI was reporting the noise pollution status of Nagpur city during the Diwali festival for the last two years. This year, CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur has planned to collect noise data using crowdsourcing, i.e., with people’s participation. At presently worldwide, the crowdsourcing approach is considered a very efficient technique to gather a large amount of data in less time.
During the second phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, when all the social and economic activities come to rest, in such an adverse condition, CSIR-NEERI had revealed noise pollution of Nagpur city for lockdown and post lockdown phase utilizing crowdsourcing approach. The volunteers of Nagpur city had gathered noise data with the help of the CSIR- NEERI developed noise monitoring app Noise Tracker. Worldwide the Noise Tracker app has become one of the most favored android applications to record noise levels by smartphone. As a result, the noise tracker application has been downloaded and used in India and several other countries such as the US, Germany, France, Canada, the UK, Spain, etc.
Similar to the last year, noise data will be collected with the help of the CSIR- NEERI Noise Tracker app to reveal the noise scenario of Nagpur city during this Diwali festival. A significant number of volunteers from the town, including CSIR NEERI staff, have already come forward to share the data for this cause. Further, a strong appeal is being made here to the interested citizens, particularly students, youths, and environmentally concerned people, to come forward in large numbers as a volunteer and join to become a part of this campaign of noise data collection from 3 to 5 November 2021.
They require downloading the Noise Tracker app from the Google play store, measuring the noise levels by keeping mobile GPS ON, and merely saving the data will automatically be shared with our cloud storage. Alternatively, they can share the data on Whatsapp no. 9423630016, 7066083553, and even call on these numbers for guidance and support. Volunteers are requested to record at least three readings near their residence place at a safe distance, i.e., a minimum of 20 meters from the area of the bursting of crackers. They are advised not to talk or make other sounds during monitoring to maintain accuracy during measurement.