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Dhol tasha beats, Dolby sound systems fail to subdue green Ganesh roar as Pune sees reduction in noise levels this year

Joint commissioner (law and order) Shivaji Bodke said preventive action has been taken against 300 persons who have been sent outside the city limits in the wake of unprecedented security arrangements done by the police.

pune Updated: Sep 24, 2018 17:02 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Noise pollution,residents,noise levels
Police personnel check the noise during the immersion procession of a Ganpati mandal with a decibel measuring device in Pune, on Friday. (Shankar Narayan/HT PHOTO)

Over the last nine days, noise levels have been on the lower side during Ganeshotsav, residents from various areas in the city such as the Peth areas, Aundh, Bhandarkar road, Kothrud, Baner-Pashan and other areas have said.

People in the Peth areas, which constitutes the heart of old Pune and where maximum number of Ganpati mandals are located, have also reported a reduction in the footfalls and noise levels as compared to previous years.

“I live closer to the main road and have the famous Khajina Vihir Ganpati Mandal right behind my house. This mandal is known for the moving tableaux. This year their sound levels were low and we were not affected by it,” said Parth Siddhaye, who resides near Grahak peth in Sadashiv peth.

“The only sound which drowned all the sounds was blaring of horns of vehicles stuck in traffic,” he said.

Vinayak Kulkarni, a resident living on Tilak road, said, “This time most of the Ganpati mandals had live performances; hence these were controlled voices and there was no trouble at all. My only worry is of the immersion day when even the walls of our homes shudder with the noise levels.”

This year, Law College road had a lone mandal and that too did not have any music. According to professor Meenal Annachhatre, “We did not have any trouble at all with noise levels, in fact it hardly felt as if the Ganpati festival was going on.”

Dr Yeshwant Oke, a resident of Bhandarkar road, who is also a crusader against noise pollution, said, “It was generally quieter than last year except when the dhol tasha pathak would meet to play for a mandal on the road. I checked on the smart phone decibel recorder, it was around 81 to 83 db, which is acceptable.”

Abhishek Shah, living near Vanaz corner in Kothrud felt that it did not feel like the Ganesh festival at all with most of the mandals doing away with loud, blaring music.

Similarly, Ketan Kulkarni living on Baner-Pashan link road as well as Amol Barve in Aundh said it was a very peaceful Ganesh festival with no noise at all. “Most of the mandals on the main road hardly had any sound emitting from the speakers and if they did then it was done within the stipulated time,” said Kulkarni.

Residents like Vaidehi Suryavanshi in Bibvewadi, and Kishore Shinde in Yerawada said the mandals on the main road added noise to the sound pollution caused by the ever-growing traffic. “Only those mandals with disco lighting were causing a little bit of noise pollution, but on the whole in the lanes, it was normal,” said Shinde.

Nitin Khairnar, who lives in Bhosari and has his business on Fergusson College road, said this year both the areas were quiet and the noise levels were bearable.

Police take firm action, order 300 ‘trouble makers’ to leave city

The city police have taken a firm stand while continuing with its drive to maintain law and order in the city and ensure stricter implementation of the Bombay High Court’s order on noise pollution during the ongoing Ganesh festival.

Joint commissioner (law and order) Shivaji Bodke said preventive action has been taken against 300 persons who have been sent outside the city limits in the wake of unprecedented security arrangements done by the police.

Nineteen persons, mostly office-bearers of various Ganesh mandals, have been arrested in 12 different cases registered across different police stations in the city.

The local police stations under the supervision of senior police station incharge have taken firm action against erring mandals under strict directions from the Pune police commissioner K Venkatesham.

Most of the action against the mandals has taken place under the jurisdiction of Hadapsar, Mundhwa, Chandannagar and Kothrud police station areas where the senior police inspectors went ahead to implement the law in letter and spirit.

The city police have tightened security measures and deployed Special Branch (SB) for handling internal security related briefings. Similarly, four drones will be deployed to carry out surveillance of all the six major Ganesh procession routes to pinpoint and take action against the trouble mongers, Venkatesham said.

According to him, effective action has been taken against mandals for violating the noise pollution levels prescribed under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000.

Roughly 11,000 policemen will be on ground to maintain the law and order situation on Sunday. DCP ( Special Branch ) Ashok Morale said 117 decibel meters have been given to all the police stations to monitor noise pollution during the immersion procession.

First Published: Sep 24, 2018 16:58 IST

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