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Less noise this festival season

Even as the processions and celebrations in and around Ganesh mandals have made it difficult for residents, with noise levels recorded at double the permissible limit, the situation could have been worse.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2009 01:30 IST
Amrita U Kadam

Even as the processions and celebrations in and around Ganesh mandals have made it difficult for residents, with noise levels recorded at double the permissible limit, the situation could have been worse.

Thanks to swine flu, the celebrations were low-key this time.

Dr Ganesh Kolhatkar, a noise consultant who conducts the noise level measurement for the Awaaz foundation, an NGO said, “Crackers causing noise pollution as well as respiratory problems were avoided or at least used less by many mandals.”

“A level of 94.4 dB is a definite decline from previous years. Last year the highest was 120dB,” said Sumaira AbdulAli, founder of Awaaz Foundation.

Moreover, to encourage a less noisy celebration Commissioner of Police D. Sivanandhan had announced a Ganeshotsav reward scheme for mandals who comply with the noise level rules.

With the silence zone norms laid down by the Ministry of Environment, there was lesser use of loud speakers too. The noise level was restricted to 55 decibels within 100 metres of schools, hospitals and courts.

The city has 10,247 public mandals that had appealed for a relaxation that was denied.

Awaaz Foundation conducted a survey on day six and seven of immersion between 7.30 pm and midnight at distances of 50 and 100 metres from pandals or processions at about 18 spots across the city. The decibel recorded ranged from 75.2 dB to 94.4 dB.

But errant mandals were fined. “The offenders have been fined between Rs 1,500 and Rs 3,000 depending on the gravity of the violation,” said Manohar Bhoir, DCP (Operations).