This year’s Eid celebrations in Mumbai quietest in 5 years
Non-government organisation (NGO) Awaaz Foundation, which recorded noise levels at six locations on Saturday, found celebrations at Dockyard Road in Mazgaon the loudest at 105.2dBmumbai Updated: Dec 03, 2017 20:22 IST
This year’s Eid-e-Milad celebrations in the city were the quietest since 2013, according to anti-noise campaigners.
Non-government organisation (NGO) Awaaz Foundation, which recorded noise levels at six locations on Saturday, found celebrations at Dockyard Road in Mazgaon the loudest at 105.2dB, thanks to the use of loudspeakers. The readings at the remaining locations were in the range of 92dB to 102dB. The levels were much lower than previous years, as the stretch between JJ Hospital and Crawford Market recorded 111.5dB in 2016.
Noise can affect the health and well-being of citizens and continuous exposure to levels above 80dB can lead to partial hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, residential areas should have a maximum noise level of 55dB in the day and 45dB at night.
Activists said although most trucks were mounted with loudspeakers, very few were in use. “The readings show the police can implement noise rules. All processions had loudspeakers, but they were not switched on. People have started to recognize the noise meter now. Loudspeakers were turned off in many areas on seeing the meter. This gives the Mumbai police an impetus to use these meters widely across all festivals,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
The activist added that honking was continuous at many locations. “Noise from pedestrian traffic and motorcycles was high with people driving recklessly and blocking major roads, especially at Mohammed Ali Road, which recorded 95dB noise,” she said.
Meanwhile, residents said processions and movement of vehicles near the Lalbaug flyover was extremely loud between 9pm and 10pm on Saturday. “Honking from bikes and the use of loudspeakers continued for more than an hour,” said Jagdish Sawant, Lalbaug resident. “We informed the police and civic body. Thankfully, noise levels went down completely by 11pm.”
Mumbai police officials said they had carried out awareness drives in advance to tackle noise pollution during Eid. “Directions were issued to various groups much before Eid. We ensured police personnel were deployed in areas where noise levels were high during previous years,” said Deepak Deoraj, deputy commissioner of police (operations) and Mumbai police spokesperson.
Awaaz Foundation recorded noise levels during the first day of the Mahim Fair on Sunday during the police sandal, and readings will be released on Monday.