MUMBAI Updated: Dec 14, 2016 00:58 IST
The police procession on Day 1 of the Mahim Fair on Tuesday recorded noise levels of 117.3dB, as recorded by NGO Awaaz Foundation. (HT photo)
Noise levels at the first procession of the 10-day Mahim Fair, which began on Tuesday, touched 117.3 decibel (dB) — equivalent to the noise from a rock drilling machine. Ironically, the procession was that of the Mumbai police, which is authorised to book noise rules violators.
What’s worse: the procession went through an area that is designated as a ‘silence zone’ because of the religious shrine and a school in the vicinity. A Bombay high court order has not only banned use of loudspeakers in ‘silence zones’, but even the use of drums, horns, trumpets and playing of any music using sound amplifiers.
Police personnel, who traditionally lead the first procession, walk from the Mahim police station to the dargah, carrying offerings of sandalwood paste, perfume or attar, flowers, silver utensils and a silk chaddar to honour the Sufi saint Makhdoom Ali Mahimi on his birthday.
The loudspeakers and brass music instruments used in the procession recorded sound levels between 98dB and 117.3dB between 2.15pm and 3pm, as recorded by anti-noise campaigner Awaaz Foundation.
“It is the function of the police to take action and they are the law breakers this time,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation, which filed a complaint with the Mumbai police commissioner. “In spite of being reminded of the HC order and being the enforcement authority, the Mahim police said that it was a traditional event, therefore noise would be allowed to continue until such time as the police took their own readings on their own decibel meters.”
Awaaz Foundation, however, said there was a marginal dip in noise levels compared to previous years. Last year, the Mahim Fair registered 119.9dB during the police procession, which was higher than the 118dB recorded in 2014. Norms under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, state that noise levels in residential and silence zones should be between 50dB and 55dB during the day and 40dB and 45dB during the night, respectively.
Officials from the Mumbai police told HT that if norms are violated, action will be taken. “Every sandal (procession) organiser was called for a meeting and information regarding the relevant legal provisions was given,” said Pramajit Singh Dahiya, deputy commissioner of police, zone 5. “The Mahim Fair will go on till December 22. We have deployed our decibel metres, too. Irrespective of whose procession it is, if any infractions are found, legal action will be taken.”
Mahim residents said the police violated norms even after several letters were written to the state government, senior police officials and the civic body. “It is a matter of serious concern that even after repeated reminders to curtail noise levels through letters dispatched weeks ago, the police’s own procession violated noise norms,” said Farooque Dhala, resident of Mahim. “Not only was it a nuisance for residents, but even for birds and animals in the area.”
Noise standards as laid down in Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
Category of area Day time limit (in dB) (6.30am to 8.30pm) Night time limit (in dB) (8.30pm – 6.30am)
Residential area 55 45
Silence zone 50 40
HOW MUCH NOISE IS TOO MUCH?
•Healthy hearing threshold - 0dB
•Pin dropping - 10dB
•Rustling leaves - 20dB
•Sound of river water - 40dB
•Light traffic, refrigerator - 50dB
•Conversational speech, air conditioner - 60dB
•Vacuum cleaner - 75dB
•Alarm clock - 80dB
•Discotheque/pneumatic hammer - 100dB
•Live Rock Band - 115dB
•Rock drilling machine – 117 dB
•Steel mill - 120dB
•Thunderclap, chain saw - 130dB
•Jet take-off (at 25 metres) - 150dB
Copyright © HT Media Limited All rights reserved.
Mahim cops violate noise pollution rules
Tuesday noise level recorded on a machine
VIRAT A SINGH | Wed, 14 Dec 2016-08:25am , DNANoise levels on Tuesday, the first day of a Sufi festival which traditionally begins from the Mahim police station were recorded at 117.3dB
Even as environmentalists and citizens press for implementation of the Noise Pollution Rules in the city,the Mumbai police that is expected to enforce these rules seem to have no qualms violating them.
Ignoring several complaints being filed since past few years to maintain the noise levels during the inaugural day of the annual 10-day festival honouring Sufi saint Makhdoom Ali Mahimi, which has traditionally begun from the Mahim police station- the maximum noise levels recorded on Tuesday by anti-noise pollution activists was found to be 117.3dB.
Sumaira Abdulali Convenor of Awaaz Foundation who has even sent a report to written to Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar said that between 2.15 pm to 3 pm the noise pollution from loudspeakers and brass instruments within the premises of the Mahim Police Station was recorded between 98dB – 117.3dB
“Seeing the violation I made several oral complaints and finally even made a written complaint at about 2.52 pm and apart from that i also drew the attention of the cops at the Police Station to the High Court Order and showed them the readings on my decibel meter,” she said.
Abdulali also claimed that no action was taken while three separate groups of drums, loudspeakers and brass instruments continued to make noise within police station premises in a Silence Zone (as the police station is next to a Balwadi and masjid).
Abdulali said that what shocked her was the fact that the when she raised the issue with the police, some of them told her that this was a traditional event and that that the balwadi next door was also closed.
Locals in the vicinity of Mahim dargah claim that the noise pollution during the festival causes immense suffering to them and that they get no respite despite complaining to almost everyone from the dargah trustees to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
“It has been an age-old custom and tradition that the festival’s inaugural procession begins at Mahim police station with Senior Police Inspector of Mahim Police Station and other policemen carrying an offering of sandalwood paste, perfume or attar, flowers, silver utensils and a silk chaddar to the saint’s dargah,” said a local resident who did not wished to be named.
He said that several groups of residents from the neighbourhood had even formed a group and even met top police officers last year to ask respite from the high noise levels but everyone seems to have ignored their woes.
“Every year the noise levels have been growing. Our children cant study, people cant rest as the noise of processions are very loud and even making complaints on the Mumbai police control room is of no help,” said another resident.
“We are taking the readings of the noise pollution and will be taking necessary action against organisers soon,” said Milind Idekar, Senior Police Inspector at Mahim Police Station.
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Noise levels on the first day of the Mahim Fair lower as compared to the past two yearsNoise levels on the first day of the Mahim Fair lower as compared to the past two yearsVinamrata Borwankar| TNN | Dec 13, 2016, 09.33 PM IST
MUMBAI: Noise levels on the first day of the Mahim Fair, which commended on Tuesday were lowered as compared to the past two years but remained much above permissible limits. According to noise levels recorded by NGO Awaaz Foundation, the noise levels were between 98 and 117.3 decibels (dB).
On the inaugural day of the fair, the Mahim police lead the 'sandal' procession of the Urs of Makhdoom Shah Babaat Mahim dargah. "There was noise pollution from loudspeakers and brass instruments within the premises of the Mahim police station. I made several oral complaints and finally made a written complaint. No action was taken while three separate groups of drums, loudspeakers and brass instruments continued to make noise within police station premises in a silence zone (next to a Balwadi and masjid)," said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of the foundation. She has sent a complaint to the commissioner of police.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, residential and silence zones should have a maximum noise level of 55dB and 50dB in the day and 45dB and 40dB at the night, respectively. Police officials said that action would be taken against if noise rules are flouted. "We have installed our own decibel meters and also held meetings with organisers to create awareness about the same. In case our meters find a problem, we will take legal action," said Paramjit Singh Dahiya, DCP, Zone V.
Sohail Khandwani, managing trustee of Mahim Dargah said that efforts were being made to reduce noise levels. "There are about 400 sandals during the 10 days and we have held 2-3 meetings with the people to make them aware about playing loud music is against Islam and the law and we have been greatly successful. We hope that in the next few years, we should be able to totally eradicate the problem."
Copyright © 2016 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights:Times Syndication Service
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.