Dandiya din drowns noise norms
HT reporters Mugdha Variyar and Nikhil Ghanekar accompanied anti-noise activists to nine dandiya venues and measured sound levels on the last day of the festival.mumbai Updated: Oct 25, 2012 01:13 IST
With the noise norms relaxed for the last days, the city witnessed a noisy finale to the Navratri celebrations.
As part of its campaign of tracking noise levels, HT reporters and anti-noise activists Dr Mahesh Bedekar and Stalin D visited nine venues — five in the western suburbs and four in the eastern suburbs — on Tuesday.
Noise levels were recorded between 9pm and 12pm at Andheri, Goregaon, Malad, Borivli, Ghatkopar, Thane, Mulund and Nahur. At all venues, the levels breached the permissible norm laid down by the Central Pollution Control Board in the Noise (Regulation and Control Rules), 2000.
The highest level recorded was 107.4 decibels (dB) at the Goregaon Sports Club, Malad (West).
Mahesh Patil, deputy commissioner of police, zone 11, said a case had been registered against the organisers, Mangal Entertainment Private Limited and 3D Rock, for noise pollution.
However, organisers claimed the complaint was against use of firecrackers. “We ensured that the noise levels did not cross 60dB around the venue,” said Gaurav Kothari, organiser, Mangal Entertainment.
Patients visiting a clinic near the venue complained about the din. “I have been feeling restless since the loudspeakers started blaring,” said Kareem Khan, 18, a typhoid patient.
At all venues, organisers adhered to the midnight deadline, barring one at Ravalpada, Dahisar (East), where loudspeakers were blaring till 12.30am and the noise level was 86.9dB
Bedekar said conversion of festival celebrations into music parties had caused them to become noisier. “People should demand quieter celebrations,” he said.
Stalin D said creation of more cultural spaces could be a solution. “The police must get more power to deal with noise levels.”
‘No religion insists on using DJ and loudspeakers’
Living in an urban city like ours, we have ample stress. Different sources of pollution affect us daily and noise is no exception. But the difference between other types of pollution and noise pollution is that the latter can be controlled easily.
The meaning of celebration has changed. The festivals we celebrate aren’t traditional, as no tradition or religion insists on using DJ and loudspeakers.
People approach politicians requesting relaxed deadlines without understanding the health hazards caused by such high noise levels. It’s the politicians’ duty to educate them and tell them why a certain deadline has been fixed. But they go the other way.
Anti-noise activists are not anti-celebration, anti-religion or anti-politician. If politicians took up these issues and educated people, activists wouldn’t need to run to court.
It’s an earnest appeal to the politicians to direct people the right way or simply keep away from such issues, rather than put public health at risk. People are civilised and if properly educated about noise, its limits and its harm, they will understand the risks and abide by rules.
The only way ahead then is education. Sentiments should be kept aside where health is concerned, and I’m sure even god won’t permit you to destroy your health and the peace around.