Noise levels recorded at nine locations by Awaaz Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) during the immersion processions on fifth day of Ganesh Utsav were above permissible limits prescribed in the Noise Rules, 2000.
The NGO recorded noise levels between 8pm to 11.30pm on Sunday and found that at silence zones such as Worli Naka, noise levels were as high as 115 decibels (dB).
As per norms, the maximum permissible noise limit in a silence zone in the night is 40dB and in a residential area is 45dB, which is 155% lower than what was recorded.
Apart from Worli, even Dadar and Opera House junction witnessed noise levels up to 115dB. At around 9pm, the NGO recorded noise levels up to 100dB at Haji Ali. The lowest noise level was as high as 89.45dB at Girgaum Chowpatty at 9.10pm.
Sumaira Abdudali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation said lax police enforcement and extensive use of musical instruments led to the noise levels being so high.
“I have been recording noise levels for almost a decade, but never before have I seen such a wide and noisy use of musical instruments on the fifth day of the Ganeshotsav. There were children playing big drums, which can damage their hearing ability permanently,” said Abdudali. Residents too were distressed with the unusually noisy celebrations that continued well past 12am.
“A lot of firecrackers and loud musical instruments were used during the processions on Sunday night. The celebrations this year were noisier than usual. My grandmother could not sleep for a long time,” said Aditi Apte, 26, a resident of Tilak Nagar, Chembur.
While monitoring noise levels, Abdudali noticed that policemen managing the processions were neither aware of the prescribed noise nor the deadline to stop loud music.
“Police constables gave me different answers ranging from 10pm-7am when I asked them the time limit after which noisy instruments would not be permitted,” added Abdudali.
However, police loudspeakers were switched off at 10pm at Girgaum Chowpatty, ensuring there would be no direct violation of SC orders on their part,” added Abdudali.