Brace for noisy last day of Ganeshotsav, Mumbai mandals to use 35,000 loudspeakers
By contrast, 33,000 loudspeakers were used last year, said members of a Mumbai mandalUpdated: Sep 04, 2017 23:52 IST
Brace for a noisy last day of Ganeshotsav as mandals across the city are expected to use 35,000 loudspeakers.
On Monday, the Supreme Court relaxed noise restrictions by staying an interim order of the Bombay high court (HC) that banned the use of loudspeakers in silence zones across Maharashtra.
Many mandals welcomed the move. “We thank the Supreme Court and the central and state governments for allowing us to celebrate without restrictions. We were worried that the HC’s interim stay on Friday meant that police permissions to use loudspeakers would be voided. However, now these permissions are in effect,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, president, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), the umbrella body of the mandals.
He added that mandals would, however, adhere to noise rules by keeping decibel (dB) levels in check. “Only traditional music will be played during immersions and the midnight deadline will be strictly followed,” he added.
BSGSS members said 33,000 loudspeakers were used last year.
Noise levels from drums, dhols, banjos, DJ systems and loudspeakers was at 116.8 dB on the second day of the festival, which was louder than the whole of last year’s festival. Anti-noise activists said the elimination of silence zones was to blame for high decibel levels during the first few immersions days even as the HC was hearing the matter.
“We are deeply disappointed by the SC’s ruling. Mumbaiites had made it clear that doing away with silence zones was not in the interest of the public, Now, the people will suffer. For just one festival, the Apex Court has done away with silence zones for the entire country ,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
Other activists said it citizens only stood to lose. “It pains me that we as citizens need to convince the government to hold a peaceful celebration. It is unfortunate that critically ill patients, pregnant women, senior citizens and children will all have to face noise pollution on Tuesday,” said Dr Mahesh Bedekar, anti-noise campaigner from Thane.