With idols from bigger mandals as well as households headed for immersion at different spots in the city, the noise levels on the seventh day of Ganeshotsav were as high as that recorded on the fifth day, said Awaaz Foundation, an NGO. The noise was also uninterrupted over long stretches.
On Thursday, the NGO recorded noise levels at 35 locations between 9pm and 12pm, following a route that started from Girgaum chowpatty, passed central Mumbai and ended in the western suburb of Juhu. A large procession near Juhu garden that was heading towards Juhu beach for immersion was the noisiest, at 107.1 decibels (dB).
On Tuesday, 107.2dB had been recorded near Atria Mall, Worli, which, according to Awaaz Foundation’s readings, was the noisiest location. As per the Noise Rules, 2000, 45dB is the permissible noise limit at night after 10pm in a residential area, while 40dB is the permissible limit in silence zones at the same time.
Immersion on the seventh day included Gauri-Ganpatis idols. Revellers roped in dhol-tasha bands during the celebrations, increasing noise levels significantly. “Unlike on the fifth day, the streets were full, with one procession after another passing by. All used dhols or loudspeakers, powered by generator vans. The vibrations from loudspeakers are not restricted to the immediate vicinity,” said GD Kolhatkar, who recorded the noise levels for Awaaz Foundation.
Tardeo, Worli, Parel, Jaslok Hospital and Bandra were some of the places were vibrations from loud speakers and instruments were most palpable.
Analysing noise level trends, activists said that sound levels on the last day of the festival were likely to cross last year’s high of 123.2dB, recorded at Worli Naka. “Each year we have seen noise levels increase on the last day of the festival, with even smaller mandals using large loudspeakers on their trucks,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.