The final day of Ganeshotsav could be a quieter affair as revellers may not be allowed to use traditional instruments after midnight, an exception the state government had made in 2012 for the first time. Organisers feel this will dampen visarjan celebrations, which usually go on until the next morning.
The police have told the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, the umbrella organisation of Ganpati mandals, that they cannot allow traditional instruments after midnight as they exceed permissible noise levels.
Organisers said this would stop them from performing bhajans at the time of Ganpati visarjan, while also putting a restriction on popular traditional instruments such as the dhol and tasha. They plan to approach the chief minister in this regard.
Naresh Dahibawkar, president of BSGSS, said though they had received permission from the state government last year, the problem has arisen as no government resolution (GR) was issued to regularise the concession.
“The police are only doing their duty; no instruments are allowed after midnight. But we had received permission from the state last year, and it is disappointing that we may not be able to use traditional instruments even for bhajans during visarjan this time. The government should have come out with a GR,” said Dahibawkar. “We will meet with the CM soon to discuss if we can get permissions,” he added.
During the final day of visarjan last year, members of Awaaz Foundation, an NGO which campaigns against noise pollution, had recorded an all-time high reading of 121.4 decibel (dB), produced by a tasha, a traditional instrument in which a metal hammer is beaten on a metallic plate. The noise was amplified through cone-type loudspeakers.
While this reading was taken before midnight, the members recorded noise levels of up to 100dB even after 12pm, largely from drums and tashas.
Awaaz founder Sumaira Abdulali blamed the modification of traditional instruments for the damaging noise levels. “Traditional instruments have been fitted with plastic membrane covering, which creates more noise,” she said.
Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Satyanarayan Chaudhary said the police will follow noise rules as per the Supreme Court guidelines and state ordinance.