In Mumbai: At 111.5dB, Worli was noisiest on 7th day of visarjan | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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In Mumbai: At 111.5dB, Worli was noisiest on 7th day of visarjan

Activists said most processions stopped playing drums and loudspeakers after the revellers spotted decibel meters carried by them

mumbai Updated: Sep 01, 2017 23:47 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Revellers flouted norms in police presence.
Revellers flouted norms in police presence. (HT photo )

Noise from Ganpati processions at Worli on Thursday reached 111.5 decibel (dB), which is equivalent to the sound emitted by a chainsaw.

Anti-noise campaigner Awaaz Foundation, an NGO, recorded noise levels on the seventh day of immersion of idols. While processions moving under the Worli flyover, with drums, loudspeakers, disc jockey (DJ) system and banjos, were the loudest, the area around Sena Bhawan in Dadar was the second noisiest at 110.7dB.

Activists said most processions stopped playing drums and loudspeakers after the revellers spotted decibel meters carried by the volunteers. Also noise levels recorded on several occasions were louder that those recorded.

“Since there were hardly any processions on the fifth day of the festival owing to heavy rains in the city, noise levels on the seventh day were quite high. Revellers stopped playing music the moment they saw us using decibel meters to record noise,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “The highest noise levels were recorded in police presence.”

She added the main source of noise came from metal cylinders beaten using metal hammers. “Noisy firecrackers were used at several locations and even animals were used in a few of them,” she said, adding that DJ systems were used at several places in spite of directions from the Ganesh mandal’s umbrella body, Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS), not to use them.

Last year, noise levels recorded by the NGO on the sixth day of immersions during which Grant Road was the loudest at 112.4dB. In 2015, nosiest processions were recorded at Juhu [120 dB].

Processions during the one-and-half day immersions for Ganeshotsav this year were louder than noise levels during the entire festival last year. Highest noise levels were recorded 116.8 decibels (dB), as loud as a packed football stadium (117dB), from a procession opposite Sena Bhawan in Dadar coming from drums and metal plates, in the presence of police personnel. Last year, the highest noise levels were recorded only during the last day (Anant Chaturdashi) at 116.4dB.

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

On August 10, noise rules were amended by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), where over 1,500 silence zones in Mumbai, identified by the civic body, stood null and void, and the state reserved the right to identify new ones. Also, the use of loudspeakers is now allowed at all these areas, which was previously banned by the Bombay High Court (HC). The matter is currently being heard by the court.

On Thursday, areas that were marked silence zones by the municipal corporation, such as Shivaji Park, the vicinity of hospitals and schools in Dadar, Mahim all recorded noise levels between 104 to 108 dB.

According to the civic body’s Ganesh immersion report from Thursday, 73,754 idols were immersed with 3,043 Sarvajanik, 65,380 household idols and 5,331 Gauri idols immersed across the city.

Members of BSGSS, however, said DJ systems were only used while immersing household idols and noise levels across the city had come down as compared to previous years. “We are happy that mandals have abided by our directions and BSGSS personally monitored processions along with Mumbai police on Thursday and saw there were hardly any violations,” said Naresh Dahibhavkar, president, BSGSS. “The last day of immersions will be a quieter one and might even be one of the quietest through the festival.”

Officials from Mumbai police refused to comment saying that the is sub-judice.