This year, Navratri has been a low-key affair — not in the scale of celebrations but in its blaring music.
Navratri organisers are not only tightening security at venues but also ensuring that they do not flout any rules — especially related to noise levels.
Sumaira Abdulali of NGO Awaaz Foundation, that has been measuring decibel levels at Navratri functions for the last six years, said: “This year, the noise levels have dropped dramatically at Navratri venues. Last year, I received around 20-25 complaints about organisers playing loud music, but this year, I received just six complaints.”
Abdulali made the observation after measuring the decibel levels at various venues like Bandra, Sion, Dadar, Antop Hill, Juhu, Goregaon, and Malad for two nights.
The decibel recorded ranged from 59Db-86Db — 59 DB is the lowest in the last six years.
“A level of 86 decibel is a definite decline from the previous years. Last year, the highest was 95 decibel,” said Abdulali.
“We prefer to have Navratri programmes in commercial complexes so that residents are not disturbed. We have always stuck to deadlines and will continue to do so,” said Devendra Joshi, founder-president of Sankalp Dandiya Utsav, one of the biggest Navratri mandals.
“The court order restricting the use of loudspeakers, stricter enforcement by the authorities and greater awareness among the citizens have helped in controlling the noise levels,” added Abdulali.
But there are some bad apples like the pandal set up outside KEM Hospital, which plays blaring dandiya music and speeches given by politicians.
But authorities claim that those found violating rules are taken to task and fined.
“Noise meters have been issued to the police to patrol the decibel levels at mandals during Ganpati and Navratri festivals. The offenders are fined anything between Rs 1, 500 and Rs 3,000 depending on the gravity of the violation,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Manohar Bhoir.