Bidding adieu to Bappa with loudest bang in 4 yrs
Last year, the city had recorded its quietest Anant Chaturdashi in six years, with maximum noise levels at 113.9dB.Updated: Sep 14, 2019 00:43 IST
Even though there were fewer and more organised processions to bid farewell to Bappa on Thursday, the city witnessed the noisiest Anant Chaturdashi in four years, noise levels recorded by NGO Awaaz Foundation revealed. At 121.3 decibel (dB), the loudest level — sounding like a jet plane taking off (120db) — was recorded from a DJ system, drums and metal cylinders at Royal Opera House junction on Charni Road, just before the 12am deadline, said the NGO, which has been recording noise during major festivals in Mumbai over the past decade.
Last year, the city had recorded its quietest Anant Chaturdashi in six years, with maximum noise levels at 113.9dB. The Bombay high court (HC) had in 2018 banned the use of hi-tech sound-amplifying systems such as DJs in festivals. According to the Noise Pollution Rules, 2000, residential areas can have a maximum noise level of 55dB in the day and 45dB at night.
“Despite the higher readings, there has been a huge increase in awareness. While levels were high closer to immersion sites, in the remaining parts of the city, it was hard to tell it was Anant Chaturdashi,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “Fewer, more organised processions were seen. Large generators on trucks were absent. In many cases, mandal members began reducing volume on seeing decibel meters.” Abdulali said Mumbai Police’s presence, armed with decibel meters, was visible across the city.
The Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti said specific guidelines to control noise were issued a month before the festival. “In a first, mandals ensured DJ systems weren’t used, and noise levels were low. Awaaz Foundation’s method is incorrect. We will go by the Mumbai Police’s noise readings,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, BSGSS president. Abdulali, however, said there is no specific mandate for measuring noise in public places.
Girgaum Chowpatty, where most sarvajanik idols were immersed, saw the use of loudspeakers well beyond 12am owing to political processions, said Abdulali. However, acting on her complaint, the police ensured the noise was stopped.