The Mumbai police will relax the 10pm loudspeaker deadline till midnight on the last two days of the nine-day Navratri festival. Though organisers will be allowed to use loudspeakers till 12am, noise levels should be within the prescribed norms as per the law.
According to the Noise (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, noise has been classified as a pollutant. Under these rules, maximum decibel levels permitted in a residential area before 10pm is 55dB and after 10pm is 45dB. In a silence zone, maximum the decibel levels permitted before 10pm is 50dB and after 10pm is 40 dB.
Senior police officials said they are conducting random noise monitoring inspections at several venues across the city during the festival. On Tuesday, HT along with experts measured sound levels at six dandiya venues. The readings showed that the noise levels were as high as 110 decibels (dB).
“There are 700-odd small and big mandals organising dandiya events. We are conducting noise-monitoring checks at various events in the city. Before the event, we also told the organisers to keep the noise levels under check,” said Quaiser Khalid, additional commissioner of police, eastern region.
The Somaiya ground dandiya program that falls in the city’s eastern region witnessed noise levels up to 96.6 dB while the V-generation dandiya at police grounds, Ghatkopar (east) saw noise levels going up to 97dB. “We keep receiving complaints from residents about noisy celebrations and we will book people for violations of noise pollution norms based on these complaints. Besides, we are also enforcing the 10pm deadline strictly,” said Sunil Paraskar, additional commissioner of police, northern region. In the western suburbs, the noise levels at Hanuman Nagar, Kandivali (east) reached 110dB.
Meanwhile, anti-noise activists welcomed the move to conduct random checks at dandiya venues, “If the police enforces the noise rules, people will start following the rules and become more aware,” said Dr. Sujata Rao, ear throat noise surgeon and anti-noise activist.