Ganpati mandals in Pune groove to a limited beat this Ganeshotsav
Speaking to Hindustan Times, additional commissioner of police (south zone) Ravindra Sengaonkar said that while noise pollution is likely to increase in the last few days of the festival, the increase won’t be alarmingly high. “The mandals this year are cooperating and in fact this year, we can say that there has been lowest sound pollution,” Sengaonkar saidUpdated: Sep 04, 2017 15:09 IST
Having taken specific steps to control noise pollution in the city during the Ganesh Festival, the Pune Police are confident that decibel levels this year will be much lower as compared to previous years.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, additional commissioner of police (south zone) Ravindra Sengaonkar said that while noise pollution is likely to increase in the last few days of the festival, the increase won’t be alarmingly high. “The mandals this year are cooperating and in fact this year, we can say that there has been lowest sound pollution,” Sengaonkar said.
This year, the police limited the number of loudspeakers that could be installed by mandals and made the presence of a music system operator mandatory to control the sound levels. “If the mandals do not comply, we will take legal action against them,” Sengaonkar said.
The Maharashtra police have specified that noise levels in a public place shall not “exceed 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise standard for the area or 75bB(A) whichever is lower.” As per the noise pollution rules, the permissible levels in silence zones, during the day is 50dB, while in residential areas it is 55dB. For high traffic areas and industrial areas, the noise levels can go as high as 65dB. Meanwhile, sound pollution data of the past 16 years collected by the students of College of Engineering, Pune (COEP) in their annual monitoring exercise shows exceptionally high pollution levels, especially during the immersion. Among the 10 different spots where decibel levels were measured, Belbaug chowk emerged as a repeat defaulter with decibel levels going as high as 109.2 dB in 2007.
Data showed that in 2001, an average of 90.7 dB of noise was measured during the immersion ceremony, which in 2004 increased to 94.1dB. The levels, then, crossed 100dB in 2010 to reach as high as 114.4 dB in 2013. Last year, the highest noise level was at Holkar chowk at 96dB.
Just before the festival, the data collected by COEP showed that on August 22 to 23, the highest average noise intensity reached 80.42dB, near Krushnasunder Garden, Erandwane.
In Pune, all the assistant police commissioners and senior police inspectors have been directed to look into complaints of noise pollution. Every police station has also been equipped with four decibel meters to instantly check noise levels.
Taking a cue from the firm stand taken by Pune police commissioner Rashmi Shukla against noise pollution, various police stations are responding to citizens’ complaints. The Dattawadi police, for example, confiscated 20 DJ systems for violating the sound limit norms during the Dahi Handi celebrations. Action was also taken at Laxminagar and Taware colony at Parvati Paiatha. Senior police inspector, Anil Patil informed that strict action has been taken against the three Dahi Handi mandals, which were violating sound pollution norms. “While patrolling, we have observed that some of the DJ systems were openly violating the set norms by a large margin, despite the stringent warning issued to them,” he said.