Data compiled by Awaaz Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has revealed that the noise levels in city silence zones have increased during the Ganpati festival in the last five years.
The NGO started monitoring noise levels from 2003. High decibel levels in silence zones are recorded mainly on the 11th day of the festival, which is the final immersion day.
Noisy immersion processions and mobile loudspeakers caused the high decibel levels in most silence zones, including Bandra Talao, SV Road Santacruz, Siddhivinayak temple , Mahim Church, Worli Naka and Girgaon Chowpatty, as per the data.
In 2011, noise at the Siddhivinayak temple was recorded at 101 decibel (dB) at 9.30pm as against 85-90 dB recorded in 2007. In 2008 the noise level recorded was 82dB at 11pm. The permissible decibel level in silence zones is 50dB during the day and 40dB at night, as per the Central Pollution Control Board’s guidelines.
“The increase in noise levels in silence zones is a worrying trend. Even after midnight, we recorded decibel levels of up to 96dB,” said Sumaira Abdulali founder, Awaaz Foundation.
The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) said most mandals were not violating noise limits. “We always ask mandals to switch off loudspeakers on time. In the past few years, disc jockeys and the use of big sound systems might have increased noise levels,” said Naresh Dahibawkar, president, BSGSS.
The police said mandals will be briefed about sound limits.