Ganeshotsav was quietest in last 5 years, but huge room for improvement

As compared to this year, the total average of the noise level recorded in 2017 was 90.9 decibel (dB).

pune Updated: Sep 26, 2018 17:07 IST
Ananya Barua
Ananya Barua
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Ganeshotsav,5 years
Use of traditional dhol-tasha pathaks has had a positive impact on the noise levels during the Ganesh festival this year.(SHANKAR NARAYAN/HT PHOTO)

After launching several initiatives to minimise noise pollution caused during Ganeshotsav, the civic authorities and the government only managed to keep it noise-free by a small margin this year. Although comparatively, 2018 has been the quietest in the past five years with an average of90.4 decibel (dB) on the final day of the festival, the difference is too slight for a larger impact, said an expert from theCollege of Engineering Pune (CoEP),Mahesh Shindikar.

As compared to this year, the total average of the noise level recorded in 2017 was 90.9 decibel (dB).

A professorat the applied science department, CoEP, Shindikar along with a group of engineering students, has been monitoring the decibel levels during the festival for the past 17 years. On the final day of the festival, their sound monitoring exercise is conducted across 10 locations including Laxmi road, every year.

Speaking about the city’s performance this year, he said,“The ban on large music systems, Dolby speakers and DJs, did make a slight difference in the ambient sound levels, but the overall impact was very slight. However, areas like Khanduji Baba chowk in Deccan and Holkar chowk, which have consistently seen high noise levels in the past five years, had mellowed down this year. As opposed to 96 decibel (dB) and 92.2 dB at Holkar chowk in the year 2016 and 2017, the levels had come down to 87.3 dB,” said Shindikar.

Khanduji Baba chowk, on the other hand has been showing consistent decline in the noise levels for the past few years. From 94.9 dB in 2015, to 85.7 dB in 2016, it reached 82.8 dB in 2017 and 85.2 dB in 2018, as per the data shared by COEP.

According to Shindikar, the major move towards traditional instruments was a plus point contributing to the reduction.“While on one hand the majority of mandals inclining towards the traditional dhol-tasha pathak (troupe) has had its positive impact by reducing the stress for spectators, it has also contributed in maintaining a similar noise level compared to the previous year, as many of these troupes or pathaks were playing together,” he said.

According to the noise pollution directives, a maximum of 50 dB noise level is permitted during the day in silence zones, while in residential areas the permissible level is 55 dB.

First Published: Sep 26, 2018 17:02 IST