Sep 07 2017 : The Times of India (Mumbai)
How loud was final immersion day? There's no clear answer
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
NGO And MPCB Record Varying Noise Levels
On the final day of Ganeshotsav , the city recorded peak noise levels of 119.8 decibels (dB) at Santacruz, the second highest in four years, according to the readings done by NGO, Awaaz Foundation. Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB)'s readings showed the city fared better than last year on the last day considering average levels.
Awaaz Foundation measured noise levels in various parts of the city on the last day of immersion. The highest levels recorded are 123.7dB in 2015. This year's highest levels were recorded opposite Santacruz police station.
“While levels dropped last year, this year was the opposite.There was extensive use of noisy firecrackers for prolonged periods of time on the roads in Bandra, Santacruz, Vile Parle, Mahim, Dadar, Cuffe Parade and along the immersion route toward Girgaum Chowpatty .Last-minute changes in noise rules created a lot of confusion in implementation,“ said Sumaira Abdulali, convener of the foundation.
Noise levels at Badamwadi in Kalbadevi were the second highest at 116.7dB. The lowest noise levels of 87dB were recorded at Gokhale Road, Dadar.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the maximum noise level in residential areas should not exceed 55dB in the day and 45dB at night.
On the other hand, MPCB, which records noise levels at 25 locations in Mumbai, found that the average levels were lower compared to 2016. According to MPCB's readings, this year's highest average noise levels of 83dB were recorded at Dadar, lower than Chembur (east) which recorded 89.9 dB in 2016. “It was comparatively quieter this year because the use of DJ set-ups was low. People are more aware and that is showing results,“ said V M Motghare, joint director, MPCB.
The MPCB measures continuous comprehensive noise at the locations between 6 am and midnight. Average levels across the state were between 60-95dB with Pune being one of the noisiest cities. A detailed report will be submitted to the Bombay high court.
Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti, the umbrella body of Ganesh mandals, claimed the use of DJs had dropped by 90%.
Abdulali said while the average levels could be lower, peak levels continue to trouble citizens. “While there was reduced use of DJs, brass bands and drums were seen throughout the city. Metal cylinders beaten with hammers, which were used extensively in the suburbs and sporadically in south Mumbai created the highest noise levels, exceeding last year's maximum noise levels,“ she said.
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.