You might have groaned under the onslaught of loud speakers and traditional instruments during the Ganesh festival, but the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’s ( MPCB) Ganeshotsav noise monitoring data shows a drop in the noise levels compared to last year.
The readings are also in variance with those recorded by independent anti-noise campaigner Sumaira Abdulali, of the Awaaz Foundation.
The MPCB recorded noise levels on the first, second, fifth, seventh and tenth day of the festival across 25 locations, including the traditionally noisy spots such as Dadar, Andheri and Bhandup.
According to MPCB’s data, 97.5 decibels (dB) recorded at Sargam Mitra Mandal in Mulund (West) was the highest noise level on the last day of the festival, followed by 96.2 dB at Dadar (East) near Khodadad Circle.
In contrast, Abdulali had recorded a significantly higher maximum noise level of 123.2 at Worli Naka on the last day.
Although at most spots noise levels were found to be above permissible limits, the average noise levels documented by MPCB were lower compared to 2012 (see box).
The average values were calculated on the basis of readings taken between 6pm and 12pm on all the days of monitoring.
MPCB officials said spots that usually see noise pollution complaints from residents were chosen for noise monitoring. “Several mandals we monitored followed the noise deadlines this year. We will share the noise data with the state home department, the civic body and the state environment ministry,” said VM Motghare, joint director, MPCB.
However, Abdulali believes that the variance in noise data was due to the different system of monitoring by MPCB. “The MPCB has recorded noise near mandals and not on the immersion routes, where use of traditional instruments and discjockeys are the most.
However, mandals were quieter than last year and noise deadlines were also followed owing to large police presence,” said Abdulali.