After the noisiest Ganeshotsav in a decade, Navratri celebrations this year promise to create as much racket, if the decibels recorded on the first night of the festival are anything to go by.
On Tuesday, HT visited six dandiya venues — four in the western suburbs and two in the eastern suburbs — with experts and measured sound levels. While all venues breached the permissible noise limit, we recorded a deafening 110dB at a community celebration in Hanuman Nagar, Kandivli (East), which is just a little lower than the 121.4 dB, the highest-recorded decibel level in a decade on the final day of visarjan.
The two anti-noise activists, Dr Sujata Rao, an ear nose throat surgeon, and Sudhir Badami, a civil engineer, who visited the spot with HT measured the noise levels at the periphery of the venues using decibel meters, and found that the sound levels ranged between 72dB and 110dB at all six venues.
The permissible limit in residential areas is 55dB, while for silence zones it is 50dB; the permissible level goes down by 10dB after 10pm.
All organisers adhered to the 10pm deadline and ended the events, except those at Hanuman Nagar, where it went on till 10.30pm.
Badami held the state responsible for the loud celebrations. “The government legitimised noisy celebrations by giving permission to play Indian musical instruments after the 10pm deadline during Ganeshotsav. That single decision took away years of effort to lower noise levels,” he said.