After Day 5, the sixth day of Ganeshotsav too saw restrictions on noise levels being violated as activists recorded sound levels much above permissible limits at several locations in the city, including Silence Zones on the occasion of Gauri Visarjan on Saturday.
Also, anti-noise campaigner Awaaz Foundation, which took the noise readings, observed that there was lack of cooperation from the police especially between 10pm and midnight, when noise rules had been relaxed by the state for immersion processions. “Complaints to policemen on roads and police Control Room number 100 met with unsatisfactory responses and no action this year,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
While Grant Road in south Mumbai was the noisiest at 112.4 dB (decibels) with loudspeakers being used by a political party hosting the festival, silence zones around the municipal B Y L Nair hospital near Mumbai Central station were subjected to 112.2 dB. For a comparison, noise in a discothèque or the sound from a pneumatic hammer is around 100 dB.
HT had reported that on Friday — the fifth day of the festival — Dadar was the noisiest with 112.7 dB and silence zones around schools, hospitals and religious shrines at Juhu Tara Road recorded 109.6 dB, Bandra Talao (104.9dB), near SNDT college Matunga (101.5dB) and areas such as Grant Road, Lamington Road and Lalbaug, were all above 100 dB.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, residential and silence zones should have a maximum noise level of 55dB and 50dB in the day and 45dB and 40dB at the night, respectively. “The police stopped the use of noise making instruments at midnight. Though there was less use of DJs in Mumbai and Thane, certain conditions of the relaxation were consistently being breached,” said Abdulali. “In particular, the use of metal plates produced the most amount of noise, exceeding 110 dB and plastic membrane drums produced over 100 dB of noise too.” Although, this year many processions did not use any noise making equipment as opposed to previous years.
Last year, the foundation recorded noise levels after one-and-a-half day and seventh day with Juhu being noisiest at 120 dB by the NGO but levels were not recorded on the fifth or sixth day.
Meanwhile, a section of Gokhale Road, close to Deodhar Hospital at Thane, which is a silence zone, recorded the highest noise levels at 110dB, found activist Dr Mahesh Bedekar. “With hardly any police presence, loudspeakers playing Bollywood music along with firecrackers was the source,” he said adding that most locations in Thane recorded an average of 95dB.