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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Day 5 Ganpati immersions: Worli in Mumbai saw loudest processions

In its report released on Tuesday, NGO Awaaz Foundation identified musical instruments as the source of noise in Worli.

mumbai Updated: Sep 19, 2018 00:49 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Other locations such as Shastri Nagar, Santacruz, and Juhu Koliwada recorded noise levels over 107dB.
Other locations such as Shastri Nagar, Santacruz, and Juhu Koliwada recorded noise levels over 107dB.
         

Worli witnessed the loudest processions (112.6 decibels) on the fifth day of Gauri-Ganesh immersions on Monday, according to anti-noise campaigners.

Noise in the range of 110-113dB is as loud as a chainsaw or a live rock concert. On Monday, the city saw 70,048 immersions – 2,019 sarvajanik, 63,196 household and 4,833 Gauri – across beaches and artificial immersion sites.

In its report released on Tuesday, NGO Awaaz Foundation identified musical instruments as the source of noise in Worli.

Other locations such as Shastri Nagar, Santacruz, and Juhu Koliwada recorded noise levels over 107dB (as loud as a motorbike), and areas in Mahim were at 104dB (as loud as a pneumatic hammer) with loudspeakers, drums and dhols as the sources.

“The noise level of traditional instruments is high. Despite the Bombay high court ban on sound systems, noise levels exceeded the permissible limit in residential areas,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.

“The government needs to regulate the sound of such instruments too,” she said.

According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, residential areas should have a maximum noise level of 55dB in the day and 45dB at night.

Last year, while Awaaz Foundation did not record the noise levels on day five of the festival, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had said the area around Juhu Chowpatty was the loudest at 101.6 dB, the noisiest in the 11-day festival.

According to Awaaz Foundation, highest noise levels last year was recorded on the second day of immersions at 116.8dB near Sena Bhavan, Dadar.

Last Friday, a bench led by justice Shantanu Kemkar denied relief to Professional Audio and Lighting Association and directed that it “should not become a nuisance”, and asked all mandals across the state not to use DJs and high volume sound systems.

“The ban on DJs helped control the noise pollution, especially in sensitive urban areas,” Abdulali said.

“This year, the violations were observed in some cases, despite the presence of police,” she said.

The Mumbai police said they had given written instructions to all police officers to act against noise pollution complaints and violations.

“We have circulated the HC order to all zones and police stations, and directed them to take action against any violation of the guidelines. We will submit noise readings for all immersion day proceedings to the high court, which will review whether guidelines were breached,” said Manjunath Shinge, deputy commissioner of police and Mumbai Police spokesperson

The umbrella body of Ganesh mandals said noise norms were not violated, in the absence of loudspeakers and DJs.

“Only traditional instruments were used and the 10pm deadline was adhered to,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, president, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti. “Our members stopped whenever any violation was observed. Directions of the HC were communicated to all and strictly followed,” said Dahibhavkar.

First Published: Sep 19, 2018 00:48 IST